The Swiss Times - Swiss News in English

Many public staircases are real tripping hazards

  • By The Swiss Times
  • 15 November 2023

According to the Swiss Council for Accident Prevention (BFU), there is an unnecessary risk of falls on many stairs in public spaces. Structural deficits are responsible for this.

Many public staircases are real tripping hazards
Stairs leading to the Bern Train Station

For example, the steps on around half of all the stairs examined were of different heights, the advisory body wrote in a press release on Tuesday. A difference of just 6 millimetres is enough to cause tripping. This is because many people unconsciously only lift their feet as far as necessary when climbing stairs.

The BFU went on to criticize the fact that only a third of all stairs have two handrails. Every fourth staircase in outdoor areas has no handrail at all.

For its survey, the advice center examined more than 500 publicly accessible staircases. According to their data, more than 90 people die every year in Switzerland as a result of falling down stairs – although the number of unreported cases is likely to be high. According to the communiqué, more than 50,000 people are injured every year when falling on stairs or steps.

©Keystone/SDA

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