Because businesses enjoy an economic benefit from your presence, they are
responsible for keeping their buildings and properties safe for visitors.
This law is called premises liability. It means that businesses must regularly
check on high-traffic areas, like walkways, stairwells, balconies, to
make sure that they are safe to use.
It’s a common piece of advice that to get a bit of extra exercise,
you should take the stairs rather than an elevator. However, according
to accident prevention statistics, almost half of all personal injuries
occur on stairways. The majority of these injuries affect people over 65.
Stairwell-related injuries are no joke. Because of the height difference
between steps and the hard surfaces and sharp corners on many stairwells,
injuries can be serious. People who fall on stairwells can suffer head
trauma, concussions, broken bones (including major bones like the hip
or spine), lacerations, cuts, and sprains.
These injuries can keep people out of work for months while they recover.
Some people can even be permanently disabled or die. It is important for
property owners and residents alike to know the laws surrounding Florida
Property owners should follow some guidelines to keep stairwells safe for
visitors and prevent slips, trips, and falls:
Handrails: Keep handrails secure and capable of holding high amounts of weight.
Clutter: Make sure that the stairs are free of clutter or debris that could potentially
Lighting: Check for proper lighting throughout the stairs, as well as on each landing.
Maintenance: Check steps for chips or imperfections that could catch on people’s
shoes or footwear. Also, for areas that require greater traction, make
sure that the surface providing traction has not been worn down past its
Secure Rugs: If you have mats or rugs anywhere near a stairwell, make sure that they
are properly secured and cannot be kicked accidentally or moved into a
Weather: If the stairs are located on the outside of a building, make sure that
there are no indentations where puddles of water or slippery debris can form.
If you have sustained a falling injury in a Florida stairwell that you
think might be unsafe, call a
West Palm Beach injury attorney for a free consultation at 1-800-GOLDLAW. Craig Goldenfarb and his team
have handled many Palm Beach premises liability cases, and can help you
learn more about how the law affects your situation.