NFSI Issues Comments on Stairway Safety

July 19, 2022

The National Floor Safety Institute (NFSI) has issued a statement on stairway safety in the wake of a U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report that found more than 1.1 million Americans over the age of 65 were transported to an emergency room for a stairway related injury in 2020.

“Far too many people are hurt, and lives lost due to stairway falls, and even most troubling is that most falls can be prevented,” said Russell Kendzior, NFSI founder and p resident.

According to Kendzior, the elderly are the most vulnerable. “There are so many risks associated with stair usage, ranging from short or narrow treads whose edges become worn and slippery over time, inappropriate stair surface materials which do not provide enough traction, and poor stair lighting, which can be extremely dangerous for elderly individuals who often have impaired vision and find step edge identification difficult,” he continued. “A simple misstep in descent can result in a life-altering fall. This is even true if the person is familiar with the stairway. And although handrails are helpful in maintaining a stair users balance, they rarely can arrest a fall.”

The NFSI B101 committee on slip, trip, and fall prevention is currently working towards establishing a stairway safety standard that will outline the requirements for a safely designed stairway.

For more on NFSI and its work on establishing standards, tune into this recent Straight Talk! video.