Our top safety tips for working on stairs
Posted on 4th Nov, 2016 | By Lorretta Tatham
Many tradespeople will find themselves working on stairs at one time or another. Unfortunately, the number of accidents related to stair work is high. Slips, trips and falls are common – but can be prevented by minimising hazards and investing in proper access solutions and safety training.
Here are the most important factors in risk assessments for stairs:
- Ensure there’s enough light.
- Take your time.
- Use available handrails.
- Make sure your workspace is clear…
- …and make sure it’s clean, too!
- Only work with the correct access equipment.
- Report any accidents immediately.
- Make sure you’re up to date on health and safety legislation.
Of course, in order to make sure you’re working in complete safety you might need a little more detail than those bullet points can give you – so that’s exactly what we’ve provided below.
Make sure there’s adequate lighting
When working on stairs, it’s important that each stair is visible in order to prevent slips and falls. Most of the time, tradespeople will have access to good light but when working in construction, a good lighting solution needs to be considered.
Work with care
It can be tempting to rush a job to get things done quickly – but when working on stairs this can be dangerous. It’s important not to rush up and down stairs or carry more items than you can handle. Heavy loads or loads that obstruct your vision can lead to slips, trips and falls.
Make use of handrails
If the staircase you’re working from has handrails, make sure you use them. If not, it’s a good idea to put a safety measure in place. Guardrails of at least 40cm above the surface of the stairs are needed to prevent falls.
Keep stairs free from clutter
Stairways aren’t usually that wide – and so by storing objects on stairs you create a hazard. These objects can become a trip hazard and there’s always the risk that an object may fall from the stairs too – potentially causing injury to a worker.
Stay on top of housekeeping
As with all working environments, it’s also important to keep staircases clean. Carpeted stairs should be in good condition and stairs should be free from dirt, debris and spills. If you’re working outdoors, you’ll need to look out for weather-related hazards like ice and snow. Slip hazards can be minimised by wearing the right footwear. Strong, sturdy boots with a good grip can help minimise a slip on the stairs.
Choose the right access equipment
When working on stairs, it’s not worth risking your life by using unsuitable access equipment. Rather than using any old ladder, we recommend a staircase ladder – or even better, one of our combination ladders. The Zarges Trade Skymaster Combination Ladder ensures safe working from stairs and more with is multiple uses.
Should an accident occur, it’s important to report it to your manager. When you report an accident, evidence is recorded and measures taken to prevent it from happening again.
Swot up on safety
Last, but certainly not least, it’s a good idea to swot up on health and safety. At Browns Safety Services, we offer a wide range of fantastic courses designed to keep you safe at work.
Some of the relevant courses you might like to consider are:
Contact our Course Enquiries team on 01282 615517 to book your place.
We also offer specialist training courses for tradespeople looking for something more specific. One of our most popular offerings is our UKATA Asbestos Awareness Training.
Have we missed any out? If you have any other safety tips drop us at tweet to let us know. You can find us @Brownssafety