Most of us probably don’t think about the stairs we use every day, but chances are, you do know how dangerous stairwell voids can be.
Slips, trips, and falls on staircases can be lethal. Whether it’s because we weren’t paying attention, or because we simply lost our balance, the stairs are one of the most dangerous places in our home.
Now imagine how lethal stairwells could be… without the stairs.
When homes are built, at least in the UK, the walls and floors are constructed before the stairs are put in place. However, the void where the stairs will eventually go remains. This means that workers on the upper floors are often put at serious risk of lethal falls through these stairwell voids.
With an average riser size of 200mm, most domestic stairwells in the UK are around 8ft high. Although this might not sound all that high, even falls from low heights regularly cause serious injuries or death. Often, the ground below is unforgiving concrete, and workers in this position likely are not using any form of fall protection system, putting them at increased risk.
While there are certain simple and temporary solutions, such as barriers, these can be restrictive to workers. Other quick fixes, like wooden boards, can be downright dangerous.
Nonetheless, it is crucial site managers put the correct controls in place to protect those working on site from the dangers of stairwell voids.
An effective stairwell voids solution
Under Health and Safety Regulations, employers and site owners are legally required to ensure the safety of those working on site. Purchasing and ensuring the use of the correct safety equipment is a vital part of meeting these obligations.
Our StairSpan system was designed to protect against falls into stairwells, and to provide a safe working platform for work above stairways. It is also the perfect solution for protecting against falls into stairwell voids even before the stairs are installed.
With its durable aluminium trellis design, the StairSpan can adapt to almost any size of void, and with a max spread load of 150kg, it even allows workers to safely use it as a working platform above the void itself, ideal for working on walls on the opposite side of the void.
We recently supplied StairSpan systems to a homebuilder client in the UK to protect workers against the threat of stairwell voids during construction.
Overall, the StairSpan system is a fantastic and effective solution to mitigate the risk of open stairwell voids during construction. To find out more, click here, or speak to one of our product experts using our contact form.
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