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Among the most dangerous slip and fall accidents are those that take place on the stairs. You may have heard that a stair that’s just a millimeter higher than the others can make you trip due to muscle memory, and that’s true, but it’s not the only risk you face. A fall could lead to serious injuries or even death, so it’s important to know of which risk factors to be aware.

Some common hazards include:

  • Stairs that are dirty and covered in debris. This could include gum, pieces of papers and other various trash items. Anything you step on that affects the grip between your foot and the stair is problematic.
  • Stairs that are just worn down from years of use. They become rounded and smooth. Some parts are more worn than others, so they’re not perfectly even. They need to be replaced (or at least evenly sanded).
  • Stairs that have been excessively polished or waxed. This may make them look good, but it also makes them very slippery when people are expecting non-slip materials or at least a normal surface.
  • Stairs with handrails that are broken or loose. People trust these instinctively, and it means they have no safety devices to grab onto if they do slip. In some cases, handrails may be entirely missing or were removed for repairs.

These are just a few examples of dangers that can cause someone to fall down the stairs. The key thing to remember is that the property owner has an obligation to make sure the stairs adhere to basic safety standards. When he or she is negligent in this duty, those who get hurt may have a right to compensation.

Source: FindLaw, “Indoor Slip and Fall Accident Conditions,” accessed Dec. 21, 2017