Layman's Lens

Life is beautiful.

Stairs and Doing what you love

with 4 comments

It's mostly older people that fall on stairs...

The conference I was at in the UK was on stair design research. Apparently stair related hospitalizations are on the rise. In Ontario, 10 people are hospitalized every day due to a stair related injury. The funny thing is people generally blame themselves if they fall even though the problem is often with the stairs.

Most injuries occur on the second or third step down due to overstepping that's caused by us thinking the third step should be as long as the second one was.

One reason for the increase in falls may be due to a ‘top of flight’ defect as Jake Pauls calls it. The irregularity at the top step is caused by builders not putting a nosing on the top step. Jake says 75% of homes in Canada have this problem. It’s easy to check. Just sight along the stairs and you’ll be able to see if spacing changes as it does in the photo above at the top step. I was shown many case studies where people broke hips, cracked their skulls and died as a result of this defect. Often this problem can be solved by simply adding a nosing to the top step for minimal cost.

Go check your stairs now.

Graph and Photo credit: Jake Pauls.

Link of the day:

I don’t agree with everything he’s talking about…but it’s worth a listen.

Ok…really…go check your stairs.


Written by Tilak Dutta

May 11, 2010 at 1:15 am

Posted in Stairs, TED

4 Responses

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  1. […] rates of stair related injury are on the rise in Canada because of a problem they call “top of flight defect“. They’ve noted this defect is often present in fatalities and other serious injuries […]

    StairLab « Layman's Lens

    November 15, 2011 at 11:25 pm

  2. Well…minimal cost if the home is new I suppose. This is why there's a push on to get inspectors to look for this so that you can catch it before anyone moves into the home.


    May 11, 2010 at 3:46 pm

  3. minimal cost?! where are you gonna get the spare carpet you need from? I say just pad the landing…used mattresses are often available off the street for free and come pre-stained to match any accident scene.


    May 11, 2010 at 3:26 pm

  4. ummm… I don't have stairs. Thanks for rubbing it in.


    May 11, 2010 at 2:21 am

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