An important discussion on today’s Jeremy Vine Show on BBC Radio 2 is expected to raise public awareness on critical issues around stair safety.
As part of the British Woodworking Federation (BWF) Stair Scheme’s inaugural Stair Safety Day, the BWF’s technical manager Hannah Mansell will be appearing on the show, providing advice to the public on how best to prevent trips, falls and other accidents on stairs which are known to kill at least two people every day in the UK.
The current media interest is heightened by the alarming statistics on deaths and accidents, and by tragic stories such as that of Michael Sousa, a 12-year-old boy who died last week after falling in a stairwell at a school in Norwich.
Just last month, a survey for the BWF Stair Scheme found that one third (33%) of us admit to having fallen up or down stairs in the last 12 months.
Hannah Mansell said:
“We can all chuckle about the near miss after a few too many beers, the kids’ toys left on the stairs or the distractions of our smart phones leading to a slip, but the truth is that we are all at risk of accidents on stairs and in some cases the consequences are literally lethal.
“The Office for National Statistics tells us that during 2015 there were 787 deaths in England and Wales caused by a fall on steps or stairs – that’s more than two people dying every day.
“There is a fall on stairs every 90 seconds in the UK, and an estimated 250,000 non-fatal accidents which are serious enough to merit a trip to A&E. It’s the most common area of the home for us to receive injuries, and an estimated that 58,000 children have accidents on stairs every year.
“There are easy ways to reduce these risks. A big part of safety is about behaviour, proper lighting, secure carpets and common sense. But good design of stairs and handrail systems and builders’ adherence to regulations also has an important part to play. That’s why we have set up Stair Safety Day, in order to raise awareness and to get across some helpful advice.”
The BWF Stair Scheme is promoting six top tips for improved stair safety and you can download the stair safety fact sheet.