How do I make the stairs in my workplace safe for someone with sight loss?

While risk assessing the use of stairs, your starting point should be to assume that blind and partially sighted people are subject to the same risks as any other employee. Therefore, any improvements you might make to reduce risk apply to all employees.

When accessing if your stairs pose a risk to your colleagues, you may want to consider the following extracts from Building Sight:

  • “Lighting on stairs should be sufficient to highlight any obstructions on the flight of the stairs, but should highlight the treads as opposed to the risers to emphasise each step. It is very important that ceiling-mounted luminaires do not become a glare source – they should be well shielded. Alternatively, large-area, low-brightness sources can be mounted on a side or facing wall.”
  • “The stair covering should not have a pattern that can cause confusion between tread and riser or between one tread and another.”

It is worth pointing out that making physical changes of this type may be the responsibility of your landlord, but this does not mean that you shouldn’t raise the issues with them.

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