There are a variety of factors that can influence the prevalence of falls on stairways, but one of the most common causes of these accidents is stairs that have become slippery. Slippery surfaces are always dangerous, but stairs pose particular risks as the limited surface area provides less opportunity for a person to regain their balance without falling. And falls down stairs are more likely to result in significant injury than other slip and fall scenarios.
Stairs can become slippery for a variety of reasons, including:
- Being built from a material that is naturally slippery
- Being covered with ice or water
- Wear and tear smoothing the surface of the stair, robbing it of traction
All of these issues can be addressed with proper maintenance. Stairs should never be built from slippery materials, but if they are the surface can be roughened or tacky strips can be added. Stairs should be regularly cleared or ice and water and landlords should develop a system for dealing with ice during the winter months. And wear and tear smoothing can be addressed in the same manner as stairs that are built slippery in the first place.
In addition to addressing the slipperiness of the stairs, builders and landlords can also make sure that handrails and other safety precautions are regularly maintained so that even if a person does slip there are ways to catch themselves.
If you or someone you love has been injured in a fall down a flight of stairs, recognizing the cause of the accident is an important first step in deciding how to proceed. If the negligence of another party left the stairs in poor or unsafe condition, please consult with an experienced attorney about how to hold them responsible for their actions.