An easy way to prevent falls: Use handrails

Falling down the stairs can lead to serious injuries such as fractures and sprains. Many such injuries can be avoided by simply using handrails.

Defend yourself from falls on stairways

Some people think you only need to use handrails when going down the stairs, but there’s potential to slip and fall going in either direction.

Why don’t people use handrails?

According to a safety guidebook from the National Association of Letter Carriers and the U.S. Postal Service , the reasons people sometimes avoid using handrails include:

  • A handrail is in poor condition. Encourage employees to report handrails that are loose, rough or in need of repair.
  • Use of handrail slows your descent. It’s true, falling down the stairs is often faster, but much more painful.

You might also see people holding their cell phones or other devices in their hands, rather than the handrail.

Tips to be safe on stairways

Follow these tips to stay safe on stairways:

  • Use handrails.
  • Put your mobile device away.
  • Take one step at a time. Slow down.
  • Make sure you can see the stairs. Good lighting is essential.
  • Keep stairways clear of clutter. It’s easy enough to lose your balance without having to navigate around clutter.
  • Carry only what you can handle, leaving one hand free to use the handrail. Get help if you have to carry something large.
  • Do not underestimate the risk of using the stairs. Focus on the stairs, not conversations or other distractions that may be present.
  • If the steps are located outside, be extremely careful if it is raining or snowing.

This is not intended to serve as legal advice for individual fact-specific legal cases or as a legal basis for your employment practices.

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