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Good traction is especially important on stairs, whether they are in public places or private homes. Slippery stairs can lead to slip-and-fall accidents, and even good guardrails often aren't enough to prevent serious injury. If someone is injured due to slippery stairs, the property owner may be legally liable on the grounds of negligence. With that in mind, why aren't all stairs equipped with better traction? Let's explore some common reasons why certain stairs seem especially slippery.

 

Stair Materials and Finishes 

 

The materials used in stairs may make them naturally slippery. Hardwood or tile may look attractive on stairs, for example, but they don't provide much in the way of traction. Tile can become dangerously slick, especially when wet. Polished wood can be slippery all the time. These materials on stairs can be an accident waiting to happen unless some form of texturing is applied.

 

Cleaning Materials

 

Some cleaning products used on stairs may leave a slippery film behind even after they dry. This is especially true of oil-based products, furniture polish, and other lubricants that may be applied to wood. Cleaners and polishes should always be applied to an inconspicuous part of a step and tested for slickness before being used on the entire staircase. 

 

Dirt and Residue

 

When stairs are not cleaned regularly, they can accumulate dust, dirt, sand, grease, and oils, all of which can reduce traction. This can be especially problematic on outdoor stairs, but it can happen indoors too, especially in public places like hotels and shopping malls. Employees are often tasked with keeping floors and stairs clean, but negligence may result from poor cleaning practices or understaffing.

 

Water and Ice

 

The phrase "slippery when wet" exists for a reason. Water on stairs is often an accident waiting to happen because even though it might not appear slick, water molecules have a way of accumulating between the soles of our shoes and the stairs, reducing traction unexpectedly. Of course, ice on stairs is particularly dangerous, especially if it hasn't been scraped away or treated with salt or sand.

 

Regardless of why certain stairs are slippery, property owners have a duty of care to make sure their stairs are safe for the folks who use them. If stairs aren't properly textured, treated, or cleared of ice—or if no warning signage is placed to encourage caution—property owners may be liable for slip-and-fall accidents on their stairs. If you've been injured in an accident involving slippery stairs, our team of personal injury attorneys can help. Give us a call today to schedule a consultation.

Good traction is especially important on stairs, whether they are in public places or private homes. Slippery stairs can lead to slip-and-fall accidents, and even good guardrails often aren't enough to prevent serious injury. If someone is injured due to slippery stairs, the property owner may be legally liable on the grounds of negligence. With that in mind, why aren't all stairs equipped with better traction? Let's explore some common reasons why certain stairs seem especially slippery.

 

Stair Materials and Finishes 

 

The materials used in stairs may make them naturally slippery. Hardwood or tile may look attractive on stairs, for example, but they don't provide much in the way of traction. Tile can become dangerously slick, especially when wet. Polished wood can be slippery all the time. These materials on stairs can be an accident waiting to happen unless some form of texturing is applied.

 

Cleaning Materials

 

Some cleaning products used on stairs may leave a slippery film behind even after they dry. This is especially true of oil-based products, furniture polish, and other lubricants that may be applied to wood. Cleaners and polishes should always be applied to an inconspicuous part of a step and tested for slickness before being used on the entire staircase. 

 

Dirt and Residue

 

When stairs are not cleaned regularly, they can accumulate dust, dirt, sand, grease, and oils, all of which can reduce traction. This can be especially problematic on outdoor stairs, but it can happen indoors too, especially in public places like hotels and shopping malls. Employees are often tasked with keeping floors and stairs clean, but negligence may result from poor cleaning practices or understaffing.

 

Water and Ice

 

The phrase "slippery when wet" exists for a reason. Water on stairs is often an accident waiting to happen because even though it might not appear slick, water molecules have a way of accumulating between the soles of our shoes and the stairs, reducing traction unexpectedly. Of course, ice on stairs is particularly dangerous, especially if it hasn't been scraped away or treated with salt or sand.

 

Regardless of why certain stairs are slippery, property owners have a duty of care to make sure their stairs are safe for the folks who use them. If stairs aren't properly textured, treated, or cleared of ice—or if no warning signage is placed to encourage caution—property owners may be liable for slip-and-fall accidents on their stairs. If you've been injured in an accident involving slippery stairs, our team of personal injury attorneys can help. Give us a call today to schedule a consultation.


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