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Improving stair safety with the right construction materials

Feb 23, 2017, 20:26 PM by Carli Barnes

Falls are a serious cause of injury and death in Australian industry. In large-scale industrial or manufacturing environments, stairs are everywhere, so the successful construction and management of stairwells is paramount for reducing the risk of falls and eliminating it where possible.

Falls from a height made up over 5 per cent of serious claims in 2012-13, according to Safe Work Australia. For fatal injuries, this percentage rose dramatically to around 12 per cent, highlighting the need for those responsible to make stairways as safe as possible.

Preventing slips and providing sturdy handrails are both important factors when designing stairs with safety in mind. At Webforge, our customisable stairway products are designed to provide steady, secure footing in order to make your walkways safer for employees.

Making stairs safer is key to preventing workplace injury.Making stairs safer is key to preventing workplace injuries.

Preventing slips on stairs

For industries with a lot of excess water or plant cleaning requirements, anti-slip surfaces are key for preventing accidental slips that can lead to a fall. Even in a comparatively dry environment, industrial designers of walkways or stairwells with an indoor-outdoor flow should be mindful that rain or other unfavourable conditions can make surfaces slippery in exposed places.

Webforge stair treads are available in a range of anti-slip nosing in line with AS1657 requirement, including the standard yellow reflective strip for heightened visibility. Treads are also available in a variety of materials to meet specific industrial requirements, including aluminium and FRP (Fibre-Reinforced plastic).

Providing stability with handrails

According to Health and Safety NZ, a distance of only 600 millimetres is enough to be classified as "free fall" height.

On the other hand, slips and trips are events that are likely to happen at some point, regardless of reason. According to Health and Safety NZ, a distance of only 600 millimetres is enough to be classified as "free fall" height, so workers don't have to be operating metres above the ground to be at risk. Putting barriers and handrails in place to steady employees by imposing physical barriers should be the first line of defence in preventing a fall in the workplace.

At Webforge, our Monowills handrails are manufactured to suit many industrial, commercial, municipal and general applications. Their versatility means that they can be transported and erected quickly, and their strength ensures employees have a study surface to help prevent an accident from causing an injury.

To find out more about how our range of stairway and handrail systems can meet the specific needs of your application, get in touch with the team at Webforge today.

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Webforge Asia operates throughout the Asia Pacific region in locations such as  India, New ZealandSingapore, Philippines, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, China, and Australia.