Employers must take measures in their workplaces to protect employees from slip, trip and fall hazards on any walking/working surface and stairways can be one of the most problematic areas.
OSHA requirements for stairs mandates step lengths and depths, weight capacity, landing size, and handrails (among other things) and are designed to make stairways safe. OSHA does not necessarily directly address the commonsense guidelines employers should use to protect their employees.
Tips for Stairway Safety:
- Inspect stairways for irregularities such as missing steps, loose handrails, corrosion, holes, grease, spills, or loose carpet/rugs.
- Keep stairs clean and free of trash and debris
- Address any issue that causes the steps to be slippery or have uneven slope.
- Never use stairways or landings as a storage place, even temporarily.
- Ensure there is adequate lighting in stairways
Employers are responsible for ensuring workplace stairways are safe and employees should alert management to any unsafe issues or potential hazards noticed on or near stairways.