Who is Liable for Falls on Stairs?

Lever & Ecker, PLLC June 28, 2013 General

According to the National Safety Council, people have a 1 in 158 chance of dying from a fall. This is more than chances of death from a firearm assault, riding on a motorcycle or in a car. OSHA has estimated that 36 deaths and 24,882 injuries per year occur due to falls that include those on stairs on construction sites. The National Safety Council also reports that 12,000 deaths happen every year from stairs in general. Commercial property owners and landlords have a responsibility to protect the safety of their tenants and workers on the premises. If they do not take proper precautions, they can be held liable in the event of an accident or death on one of their stairways.

Precautions that Landlords and Property Owners Must Take to Avoid Stairway Injuries

Keep stairs clear of all objects.
Remove snow and ice in a timely manner and properly dry stairs.
Paint the edges of steps a different color than the rest of the step, and re-paint when they become faded or chipped.
Apply slip-resistant paint or tread in damp areas.
Use stars made of metal or rubber to avoid slipping.
Replace rotting wood.
Provide adequate lighting surrounding the stairwell.
Install stairs that are the correct dimensions and not too narrow or steep.
Avoid small stairways where people are likely to miss a step and fall into air.
Provide warning signs when a step is defective.
Provide handrails on both sides of the steps and always replace when they are broke.
Make routine inspections and maintenance of stairs on their property.

Falls on stairs is too big of a problem that could be avoided with proper care. If you or a loved one has been hurt on stairs that were improperly maintained by a landlord or property owner, contact an experienced NY premises liability attorney today.

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