Using stairs is common in New York stores and workplaces, and many people do so without incident. Unfortunately, the negligence of some property owners can expose the public to stairs that should not be used. For various reasons, a set of stairs can pose a major risk of tripping and falling. It is the duty of property owners to take proper care of their properties and deal with trip hazards on stairs before they cause serious injury.

According to Inline Design, electrical cords are something to watch out for. Cords that are near stairs should be pinned to the wall with wire staples or tape to get them off the floor and away from people’s feet. Loose rugs at the top of the stairs can also produce a nasty fall, so it is best to remove them and leave level floor for people to step on after clearing the stairs.

Sometimes property owners may leave furniture on or close to a stair landing, perhaps intending to move it later. However, furniture situated on or near stairs presents a fall risk that could strike an unwary pedestrian, even if the furniture is left in place for a moment. While a lot of furniture is easily visible, some people have vision problems and may not spot the obstacle until it is too late.

Chron.com points out other trip hazards for property owners to be concerned about. Stairs that are poorly lighted can cause someone to trip, especially someone with poor vision. Steps and floors in bad repair can also produce a fall. Loose equipment or trash might be dropped onto stairs by pedestrians or workers. Spilled liquids and soaps can also be a serious trip hazard.

The key to preventing a person from suffering a fall is to keep stairs as clean and as unobstructed as possible. Workers should be instructed in proper maintenance practices, and if stairs are damaged, the property owner has a responsibility to repair the steps. While the stairs are in disrepair, the property owner or manager should erect the proper safety sign alerting pedestrians not to use the stairs.

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