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Stairwells are vital parts of almost every building, allowing people to move between floors safely. However, without proper maintenance, stairwells can quickly become hazardous and lead to serious injuries through slips, trips and falls. There are, unfortunately, many cases where poor stairwell maintenance has resulted in severe harm to building residents, workers, and visitors.

Inadequate Lighting

Proper lighting in stairwells is crucial for safety. Dimly lit or unlit stairwells leave users unable to clearly see the stairs, making slips and falls much more likely. Non-functioning light fixtures in stairwells need to be promptly replaced to avoid creating a dangerous situation. Property managers and building owners who neglect to fix poor stairwell lighting in a timely manner may be liable for injuries if an accident occurs.

Worn, Damaged Steps

Steps exposed to constant foot traffic can become loose, uneven, warped, or develop other damage over time. Stair nosings can also become loose or detached. These defects significantly increase the risk of someone tripping on the stairs. Cracked or broken steps that are not repaired also pose a serious falling hazard. Stairwells need to be regularly inspected for any step defects and prompt repairs made.

No Handrails

Stairwells must have secure handrails on both sides of the stairs. Handrails give stair users something to grip for stability and can prevent dangerous falls. Building codes also require stairwell handrails to be of a certain height and diameter for safety. If stairwells lack handrails or have handrails that are loose, missing sections, or otherwise deficient, there is a much higher fall risk. Property owners are responsible for installing proper handrails and performing regular checks to confirm they are sturdy.

Poor Visibility

Stairwells should have adequate lighting not just at night, but also during the daytime. Stairwells that are too dim or feature obstacles blocking the stairs can lead to accidental missteps and falls even when the building is occupied. Obstructions like unused furniture should never be placed on stairwell landings where they block access. Windows and light fixtures in the stairwell space need to provide sufficient illumination.

Neglected Maintenance

Building owners and property managers have a legal duty to properly maintain stairwells and remedy any defects. Slip and fall accidents due to ongoing problems like inadequate lighting, loose handrails or damaged steps demonstrate neglected maintenance. If a stairwell defect has been identified but not fixed in a reasonable timeframe, the property owner may be considered negligent. Any accidents that later occur due to the hazard likely make the owner liable for injuries.

Taking Action

Anyone who suffers serious injuries in a stairwell fall should contact one of our experienced personal injury attorneys. We can investigate the cause of the accident and determine if property owner negligence through poor maintenance or other lapses led to hazardous stairs. Holding negligent owners accountable helps prevent future stairwell injuries. Proper legal representation also ensures injured victims get full and fair compensation.

Get in touch today. You can visit us at the following locations:

  • Westerville – 4151 Executive Pkwy, Suite 355, Westerville, OH 43081
  • Mansfield – 33 S. Lexington-Springmill Rd, Mansfield, OH 44906

Call now for a free consultation on (614) 224-4114.

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