12,000 people die every year after a fall from one level to another or a fall on the same level
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission estimated that 1 million stair-related accidents occurred in 1990. A 1989 study by the National Safety Council reported that about 12,000 people die every year after a fall from one level to another or a fall on the same level.
In general, the recommendations offered in this report derive from the premise that stairway accidents are caused by human perceptual errors, which are frequently triggered by some flaw in the design or construction of stairways themselves. Evidence describing the severity and frequency of residential stairway hazards, and supporting premises underlying design
The elderly are especially vulnerable to falls. In the home, 84% of those who die after a fall are over 65, according to the same 1989 National Safety Council study.
severity and frequency of stairway hazards, are related to (1) structural integrity and quality of stairs, (2) physical attributes of stair surfaces, (3) appearance of stair surfaces, (4) handrails, (5) physical attributes of the surrounding stairway environment, (6) appearance of the surrounding stairway environment, and (7) signs and symbols.
stairway environment, (6) appearance of the surrounding stairway.
architectural research; building codes; building design; building regulatory
standards; floor coverings; home safety; safety standards; stair safety; stairway
design. environment, and (7) signs and symbols all play a part in the injurys that happen.
Investigation of a slip, trip, or fall accident on stairs banisters and balconies
Two kinds of tragidys come to mind that involved banisters and balconies. In both instances people were active around the retainment device and decided to take a break and mistakenly leaned up against the rail. The failure of the device suddenly propelled the unsuspecting victims downward resulting in instant death for one of the victims and permanent disability for the other. Humans are very vulnerable to serious head injuries when they unexpectedly fall backwards. People assume that if something is built it is safe.
Understanding of stair use and stair accidents what landlords must do
Another NBS effort included the review in 1974 of the recommendations for stair design contained in the five model codes, as well as the FHA Minimum Property Standards.In general the codes specify minimum stair and landing width as well as minimum headroom. They also specify tread depth and riser height, although there is considerable variation in the exact measurements. Minimum and maximum numbers of risers between landings are frequently stipulated. The codes in general require handrails to be used where needed to keep occupants from falling. landlords must be in compliance with their local code or they are libel. focus upon the user's perceptual and
motor processes during stair use. These processes were viewed as linked
to accident-producing errors which could be triggered by inadequate or
misleading physical characteristics of the stairs and their surroundings.
As a result, the NBS research centered upon the perceptions and behavior
Stair conditions and falls
stairs are bad places to have falls, particularly in descent, for the fall may be extended down the stairs. In addition, the probability of serious injury can be increased by the sharp edges of the stair tread nosings. Yet, the danger of injury during stair use is often overlooked because stairs are such a familiar element of a building.
Analysis of human behavior recorded in seemingly non-hazardous environments
led to the identification of a number of environmental factors that might interfere with a user's visual and kinesthetic assessment of prevailing stair conditions. Successful and unsuccessful stair use was also analyzed in terms of theencounters a stair and responds to unanticipated discontinuities in its structure or that of its surrounding environment. must of these items are entirly in the control of a propertys manger and landlord and theirfore there activitys are often the source of the problem.
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Howard Roitman, Esq.
8921 W. Sahara Ave.,
Las Vegas, Nevada 89117