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Stair Assessment


The causes of stair falls are well understood but poorly designed stairs are still commonplace, stairs therefore often present significant potential for harm. A stair fall often leads to serious injury or even death. In the UK there is a fall on stairs every 90 seconds (BS 5395-1:2010). It is often assumed that all stairs comply with the relevant building codes and that compliance means the stair must be safe. Neither of these assumptions is true.

HSE falls prevention experts investigate serious and fatal stair accidents, often in seemingly innocuous environments like retail premises and restaurants. There are approximately 100,000 accidents on stairs in leisure environments each year, and several thousand more in the workplace.

Negotiating stairs is a largely subconscious task and, as such, falls are often blamed entirely on human error. In reality, the design of a stair plays a critical role in helping a pedestrian make their subconscious judgments accurately and therefore safely negotiate the stair. Understanding both stair design and human performance is the key to making a difference to risk.

Simple, cost-effective improvements to existing stairs can significantly reduce the risk of a serious fall. This course will help you understand the design features of stairs which can give rise to a risk of falling, and identify simple remedial improvements to reduce the likelihood of a fall.

To get the most out of the course, delegates are encouraged to share a stair fall issue from their own workplace in advance, with photographs where possible, for discussion during the day. This ensures that you get the most relevant information from the course.

By the end of the course, you will have the knowledge and skills to assess stairs in your own premises, and identify examples of good and bad practice. This will allow appropriate changes to working practices and the work environment to be considered and planned in proportion with the risks and costs involved.

The course will cover

  • Common design issues that give rise to a risk of falls on stairs
  • Examples of HSE stair investigations and the findings
  • How to undertake a stair fall assessment using a simple toolkit
  • An opportunity for you to assess stairs yourself and discuss with the expert

Who should attend?

Anyone who is interested in understanding falls on stairs or who has responsibility for managing health and safety.

We can run bespoke courses at your premises tailored to your specific requirements. This includes a free expert assessment of your stairs.


The course will be run at the HSE Science and Research Centre in the spa town of Buxton. Buxton is in the heart of the Peak District and has good links to mainline train stations and Manchester International Airport. This course can be run at your site or local area by arrangement.

Details of hotels in the Buxton area can be found at


£525 per person (includes course notes, lunch and refreshments).

Please note that all courses must be paid for via credit card at the time of booking.

Some of our training courses can also be delivered in-company, please contact us to discuss your requirements.

Telephone: +44 (0)203 028 3704

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