Occupational Therapy Advice and Information
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Solutions when the tread of the step is too narrow:
- The British Standard 8300 – 2009 now stipulates that the general preferred dimensional ranges for steps and stairs are between 150 mm and 180 mm for the rise and between 300 mm and 450 mm for the going. Larger goings can also benefit people who wish to stop mid-flight to rest.
- The rise and going of each step should be uniform.
- A step should not overlap the one below but if this is not totally impossible then the nosing should not project over the tread below by more than 25 mm.
- Single steps without rails should be avoided, wherever possible, as they present a significant trip hazard.
- Where the change in level is less than 300 mm then a ramp/sloping path should always be considered as the best option, wherever possible.
- Where possible a level landing should be provided at both the top and bottom of a flight of steps and should be no less than the surface width of the flight, i.e. if the clear width of the step is 1000 mm then the landing should also be 1000 mm in depth. It should never be less than 900 mm.
- The rise should be a maximum of either 75 mm 100 mm 150 mm 180 mm.
- A maximum of 100 mm rise is recommended for Walking Equipment Users.
- The going(tread) to be a maximum of 350 mm 450 mm 600 mm 650 mm.
- A going of 650 mm is ideal for people who need to use walking frames as there is sufficient room for both the frame and the User to be safely accommodated on the step.
- Note: To determine the tread of the step that you require stand upright holding any equipment that you may need and ask someone to measure the width and the depth that you specifically require, adding on approximately 50 mm to the overall measurement to ensure that you have some clearance.
- Ideally the clear width of the step should be a minimum 1000 mm with handrails fitted, which, in real terms, results in the width of each step being 1200 mm. This will depend upon your environment and particular situation but it is important to provide the maximum width possible. Again ask someone to measure you standing upright with any walking equipment that you require because it will be a waste of time providing steps that are too narrow to safely accommodate both you and the space you need to use walking equipment safely.
- Each step provided should be slip resistant and have visibility strips provided on the edge/nosing of each step, where necessary and appropriate.
It has been proven through research that slips, falls or injury on the stairs or steps are more likely to occur when someone oversteps, placing only 50 – 60% of their foot on the tread. It has been identified that less slips, falls or injuries occur when the going is increased and beyond 300 mm it is very rare because it is not so easy to overstep. Beyond 350 mm it is unlikely for a large overstep to occur. The following information will help you provide steps that are safe to use in a number of situations.