Most of us probably don’t think twice about stairs. Whether at home or in public, you probably don’t spare them a second glance. But, if you work as a tradesperson, you’re likely well aware of the challenges posed when working on stairs, and how quickly underestimating them can lead to injury.
Tradespeople are regularly required to work on stairs for any number of tasks, including painting and decorating, plastering, electrics and more. It’s important to stay vigilant and carry out this work properly, to ensure you aren’t left unable to work for months, or worse.
How to work safely on stairs
Chances are, we’ve all slipped down the stairs or missed a step at least once in our lives. That heart in your mouth moment is something we all try to avoid wherever we can. For tradespeople who regularly carry out work in restrictive stairwells, slips, trips, and falls are a hazard of the job. Nonetheless, they’re a hazard that should be minimised wherever possible.
Trades that work regularly on stairs include:
Painters and decorators
Thankfully, if you’re in one of these trades, or find yourself working on stairs for whatever reason, there are a few things you can do to mitigate the potential risk posed to your wellbeing.
Remember: if you are a company director or health and safety manager, you have a responsibility to ensure all measures are taken to limit the risk posed to your employees when they carry out work.
First off, any work - even short duration - should be assessed properly, with all potential risks highlighted and mitigated wherever possible.
Next up, make sure you, or whoever is doing the work, is trained and competent. If not, get someone who is properly equipped to do the work instead.
There are a few environmental changes you can make to ensure your safety, namely:
Ensuring the area is clear of trip hazards, and all tools are safely stored, before work begins.
Make sure you have enough light to see by. This shouldn’t be a problem in domestic homes, but if the space is dark, use a torch or worklight to give yourself enough light to see by.
Check the strength of handrails, and use them if they’re suitable to work with. However, never put your entire body weight on them, as they may not be designed to take the full weight of a human being.
Use the right tools
Always make sure that you are working with the correct access equipment. You might want to stick a ladder up from one step and crack on, but things can go wrong in the blink of an eye, and if you don’t have the right equipment in place, the consequences can be severe.
At Oxford Safety Components, we know that it’s tempting to skip a step to get the job done quicker. We also understand that some stair platform access systems can be restrictive, especially on building sites where there’s no shortage of traffic going up and down, and that you probably don’t want to be the one blocking the way. To that end, we created the StairSpan stair platform, to maximise the safety and wellbeing of workers without impacting efficiency.
The StairSpan stairwell access and fall protection platform is an effective and no-fuss solution to working safely on stairs. The lightweight, aluminium frame design means a total weight of 18-24kg, but a maximum load of 225kg. The StairSpan is quick to deploy and ready for anything in just 10 minutes.
Best of all, the telescoping design means the StairSpan massively reduces the need to block stairwells while work is being carried out. Workers can simply slide the platform back to allow passage and then carry on with work. The StairSpan can even be used in voids where stairs are due to be fitted by removing the hinged legs and utilising the joists.
For effective safe access and fall protection in stairwells, the StairSpan is an unbeatable solution.
We can help
It’s vital that workers are given the right equipment when working in stairwells, to prevent injury or worse in these awkward, enclosed spaces. The StairSpan stair work platform is specially designed for use in stairwells, making it the ideal choice.
The StairSpan is just one of the many solutions in the Oxford Safety Components safe access range. For more information about our products, call us on 01869 32 32 82, or use our online contact form.
Strictly Necessary Cookies
Strictly Necessary Cookie should be enabled at all times so that we can save your preferences for cookie settings.
If you disable this cookie, we will not be able to save your preferences. This means that every time you visit this website you will need to enable or disable cookies again.