Are rubber stair treads really necessary in an office or work area? Many people seem to think they only make a difference in industrial spaces. As a result, a number of employers do not install rubber stair treads in any area where stair treads are not required by law. But this can be a major mistake. Any measure that helps reduce the risk of accidents in the work place is a good one, both to ensure the safety of your employees (and clients) and to avoid being left open to lawsuits. And considering the relatively low cost of stair treads, it should be an easy choice. Let’s look at why exactly they make such a big difference.
Stairs are ubiquitous in any work place, and while many people will avoid them to take an elevator when possible, there are also plenty of people who will still use the stairs. A hand railing may seem like a sufficient safety precaution on its own, but it won’t always be the case that the people using the stairs can or will use the railing. For example, many office workers who want to add a workout to their day will make a practice of taking the stairs, sometimes jogging or power-walking up and down them. If you’ve ever power-walked or jogged you know you’re not going to hold onto a hand railing while you do so. Workers deciding to jog regularly is actually something you want to encourage in your workplace. It leads to a healthier work force, with less claims on the company insurance plan, while at the same time leaving workers feeling refreshed, accomplished and happy. But at the same time, jogging on the stairs carries an increased risk of injury, with tripping or stumbling leading to a very painful and potentially serious fall. Not the sort of thing you want to happen at your company, which is why rubber flooring and rubber stair treads are a good idea.
Likewise, other people who use stairs without rubber stair treads are likely to be at high risk as well. Anyone who is distracted or in a hurry is more likely to make a mistake. This is true when driving, when working, and, yes, when going up and down stairs. And one of the most common reasons people use the stairs in an office building is when they’re in a hurry. If they think they can go faster than the elevator, or if they just missed the elevator and expect a long wait, they’ll hustle up or down the stairs instead.
There is no way to completely prevent injuries on staircases, but rubber stair treads are a durable, low-cost solution that will help prevent a minor slip or stumble from becoming a tragic fall.