Assignment #1Stairways – Fall PreventionStairs with alltypes have been used since old times and they have caused several hazards. Peoplefall from them, get hurt or even they get killed. Most of the stairway fallshappens because people lose balance. Falling down from stairs can cause major injuries.
The stairway falling patients are having higher mortality rates than non-stairwayfall patients like who those fall down stairs like victims of car or motorvehicles accidents, burns or any other types of falls…etc. In fact, millions ofpeople are treated for fall related injuries as stairways falls cause a significanthigh number of head injured patients who in several cases have head trauma(Reducing Slips..
.P1)There are several causesfor stairways falls as some falls happen because people feel dizzy or fainting.Most of the falls happens with the residential stairways. Researchers found outthat most of the falls on stairs are either because of slipping which is theprimary cause of stair falls as most of them happens when people are walkingdown the stairs, another one is the absence of handrails which cause a highnumber of falls on stairs which result in several injuries. Also, unexpectedlocation of stairs result in many falls. For instance, stairs of just one ortwo steps in a hallway or a doorway can cause several hazards in particular (StairSafety…
P2) Stair design, stairconstruction and maintenance, stair placement, stair use, handrails are some ofthe main reasons of causing accidents that contribute to stair falls.· Stair Design:Stairs especially withone or two steps cause a high number of falls. This is a design feature.
Thus,if you are planning to have an extension or addition to a building you need to avoiddifferences in floor heights that require these few steps. Treads that are less than 9″ wide cause thehighest number of missteps. Research indicates the fact that the riser heights between6″ and 8″and tread widths of 10″ to 13″are most comfortablefor most people (Stair Safety…
P3)Best stair dimensions area 7.2 inch for riser height with either an 11 or 12 inch for the tread width. Thesedimensions should be used for designing stairs when considering remodeling or replacinga stairway. Sometimes carpenters or contractors use old traditional in accuratebuilding formulae, so a high attention should be given if adding or replacing anystairs.Generally, a good designcan reduce the possibility of falls as it can provide us with ways that cankeep our balance using the stairs yet the best designs cannot eliminate fallinghazards totally. The need for proper design also applies to ramps. The fact isthat some incidents can be caused by inattention, unsafe behavior or evenbecause inappropriate footwear.
· Stair Constructionand Maintenance:One of the most importantsafety factors in the stair construction is having a dimensional uniformity inthe tread widths and riser heights. A 1/4 inch difference between adjacentriser heights can cause an accident. Existing stairs that do not have uniform dimensionscause real hazards, such stairs should be replaced with correctly built stairs.
Several reasons can cause tripping or slipping hazards, so stairs should bekept clear and the broken treads should be replaced or repaired immediately aswell as any torn carpets because they cause hazards. Accidents can be morepreventable by adding non-slip surfaces on treads. Broken lights over thestairs or a poorly lit stair cause fall hazard, stairways shall be well lit.· Stair Placement:Sometimes people are notaware of the presence of a stair as it can be with the same color and textureas surrounding surfaces and they can be poorly lit or marked which can cause difficultyto see.
That can cause people not to see that there is a change in the floorlevel. By adding visual clues can give people attention to the stair or bychanging floor materials and colors for example can help people to identify thechange in floor levels. Providing handrail for one or two step stair is truly necessary,but railing that protrudes from the wall surface adjacent to the stair give a clueto people for its presence. · Stair Use:Stair handrails helps in preventingfalls when a loss of balance happens for users going up or down using stairs;they help users to quickly rebalance after slipping (Handrails Templer, 1992).A research done by McKeeand Verney (1988) recommends that the height of the balustrade should be from36 to 40 inches to be effective in preventing falls with the descending stairs,however the height of handrails developed by the national laws and statebuilding codes require a height of 30 to 34 inches. Generally, the “HumanFactors Design Handbook” suggests a high handrail of 34 inches; overall thedimension falls within the range required by most of the building codes.The power grip optimizes thegrip forces in the hand while the round shaped handrails with a diameter ofabout 1.
5 inches maximize grip forces for adults and a diameter of between1.125 and 1.25 inches maximizes grip forces for children. While the rectangular shaped handrails are usually easier to hold than roundshaped railings, but these handrails require a pinch grip which is the leasteffective grip to maximize the gripping forces in the human hand (Stair Safety…
P3). Fallson the stairs kill and injure many people in the United States each year bytaking a human factors approach to stair design, construction and maintenance,many falls can be prevented. Works CitedGovernment of Canada, Canadian Centre for OccupationalHealth and Safety. “Stairways – Fall Prevention : OSH Answers.” Government of Canada, Canadian Centre for OccupationalHealth and Safety, 23 Jan. 2018, www.ccohs.
ca/oshanswers/safety_haz/stairs_fallprevention.html.Maki, B., and G. Fernie(1988). Biomechanical assesmentof handrail parameters with special considerations to the needs of elderlyusers.
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2012,www.ehstoday.com/ppe/fall-protection/ehs_imp_75425.Ragg, Michael, et al.
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” ExperimentalGerontology, Pergamon, 25 Apr. 2014, www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0531556514001302.
“Stair Safety: Causes and Prevention of ResidentialStair Injuries.” Housing Fact Sheets, pp. 1–6.,doi:http://dea.human.cornell.edu/sites/default/files/pdf/stair-safety-2-2.pdf.”UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF LABOR.” Occupational Safety and HealthAdministration, www.osha.gov/pls/oshaweb/owadisp.show_document?p_table=STANDARDS&p_id=97