One day last winter I was walking to my local grocery store. There was about a foot of snow on the ground and it was freezing cold outside; but the sidewalks were shoveled and nicely salted. When I reached the store, I was very disappointed to learn that the four steps required to climb for entrance into the store had custom stair treads been shoveled, but under the snow presented a sheet of ice. I actually slipped on the last step up and fell on my hip, twisting my ankle a bit, but luckily was alright. I asked the clerk, Amy, in the store if they were going to put salt down to prevent falls and injury to customers. Amy told me that they do put salt down but because the front of the store is shaded from the canopy above and that the salt does not always work as quickly as it should.
Amy then told me that the store owner was currently looking into the purchase of stair treads because she had read up on “Safety Awareness”, from the Center of Disease Control, that slip and fall injuries cause over 19,000 deaths in the United States annually. The National Floor and Safety Institute report that slip and falls are the #1 cause of accidents for employees and customers in supermarkets. Amy had been given the research assignment to figure out what would work best on their exterior stairs of their store and the inside steps that track in a lot of the snow, to prevent their customers from serious injuries.
I learned the importance of keeping customers, friends, employees and families safe when entering a business or residence a few years ago. A family friend was renting a really pretty colonial house in the Midwest. During the coldest and most awkward Monday afternoon, a neighbor of theirs was coming over to leave something on the doorstep. Unfortunately, the last step up to the front porch was very icy and the neighbor took a terrible fall when she slipped and fell. The neighbor fell and fractured her ankle in more than 7 places. The ankle was not only fractured, but the whole foot was completely crushed. Several surgeries later, the neighbor decided to file a lawsuit against my friends because the injury occurred on their property. If I had to judge, I would have to say that this was wrong; the neighbor entered the property at her own risk and was being careless by not paying attention to weather conditions.
Regardless of what I thought about the incident, the neighbor won the lawsuit because our friends failed at the unknown responsibility they had for keeping their residence safe from injury to others. If the step had been equipped with stair treads and a decent salting, this incident would have never happened. It’s called prevention, folks.
I knew this was an important issue for the local grocery store. The National Floor and Safety Institute report that the nation’s grocery store industry spends $450 million to defend against slip and fall claims. Therefore, I helped Amy with the research and we quickly found the perfect solution. Koffler Sales offers the largest selection of floor protection products online – all carry a 100% satisfaction guarantee too; that’s really important. They pride themselves on excellent customer service and they are always available to answer questions. Their floor systems are perfect for commercial or residential use while the stair tread products are available in a number of styles and colors. There are many different types of stair treads; vinyl, rubber and metal.
Although there are a variety of stair treads, after researching these products, Amy recommended the Metal Stair Treads for both inside and outside of the store. These are easily installed over stairs of virtually any material. These long-lasting treads will provide a safe, anti-slip surface which exceeds the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and OSHA requirements for slip resistance. Recommended uses for metal stair treads, which can be used both indoors and out include stairs accessing public buildings, hospitals, stores and schools.
Whichever stair tread you decide is best for your use, rest assure that your decision to install stair treads on slippery surfaces, in areas that you are ultimately responsible for, will save you a great deal of pain in the future; not only for your visitors and customers, but for your own safety as well.