Staircases have the basic purpose of facilitating unfettered movement to a higher floor while still optimizing a facility or commercial space. In various shapes and sizes, staircases are also installed to complement buildings, varying from basic and utilitarian to sophisticated and informative.
Staircases are a high-traffic place, and because almost everyone in your house uses them at least once a day, it’s important to make sure yours is safe. Stair falls are among the most frequent forms of accidents in the United States, particularly among young children and the elderly. The ability to easily access stairwells in an emergency is another reason to invest in their safety.
Stair falls can cause serious injuries ranging from concussions to broken limbs. Owing to the extent to which workers must use stairways to complete required tasks, construction, moving or courier firms are at a higher risk of these kinds of accidents. On the other hand, staff may reduce their chance of injuries by following a few basic guidelines. Additionally, employers should ease the financial burden of employee compensation expenses.
1. Know the Stair Parts Names
When optimizing the use of stairs, hitting the right mark on stair parts would be beneficial. From treads, railings to rise and runs, getting these terminologies right is key to maximizing the facility’s safety protocols.
2. Familiarize Yourself with Building and Safety Codes
Commercial stairs are those that are meant to be used by the general public. They can be found both inside and outside of any edifice. International Building Code (IBC) guidelines must be followed when designing commercial stairways. Industrial stairwells are those used in privately run facilities. There are usually sites of work, such as factories or industrial plants. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) laws must be observed while constructing these stairs.
3. Don’t Get Offguard about Guardrails and Handrails
It would be best if you explored the possibilities of handrails and guardrails. It’s not just a matter of semantics; they serve two completely separate roles.
People are shielded from slipping over the side of the stairwell by guardrails. When ascending stairs, handrails provide leverage and help in balancing. Place metal handrails on both sides of the stairwell if at all necessary. Rails should be mounted on any stairwell that spans a considerable distance, particularly if the stairs are steep.
Facilities should always install handrails at adult elbow height between 34 inches to 38 inches, according to IBC recommendations.
4. Mind the Load-Bearing Capacity
Hiking upstairs with things in your hands will cause your body to try to twist in unusual ways. People constantly using the staircase should consciously concentrate on maintaining their upright posture with both hands squarely on the object being held to prevent injuries. Strains and pulled muscles are significantly minimized where the weight is distributed evenly between the hands, and the spine is supported when it is in the upright position.
Additionally, OSHA-accepted design for a fixed stairway is to have a capacity of five times the anticipated maximum weight, which is a single concentrated load of no less than 200 pounds safely at the tread centers.
Stairways are a wise leader’s choice for both shape and feature. They also schedule ahead of time. You’ll need to build a stairwell. It would be best if you got away with OSHA stairs for the time being. It’s not fancy, but it’s practical and affordable.
However, after a few years, you’d like to have a part of the floor available for public guided tours. Meeting the commercial stair code would be needed for public tours.
You’ll have to repair OSHA stairs if you install them now. It is now more expensive to build to the IBC stair code. However, in the long term, it is much less expensive.
You may also plan stairwells or parts of stairwells to satisfy both OSHA and IBC specifications. Planning accordingly, in any case, makes up for the cost and puts safety at a foremost priority.