Berkeley Lab had 3 injuries related to step stools over the past few years of which two of those injuries required medical treatment. Characteristics of a safe step stool include:
Some step stools and step ladders are designed with side "hand" rails which extend above the last step and around to the front. This type may be the appropriate device to use in many work areas. A handrail allows you to steady yourself as you climb and descend the stairs. It can also assist you in finding the correct placement of your feet.
Without the handrail you can easily lose your balance reaching for objects, or stepping down.
Step stools often depend on casters, springs and friction devices to function properly. If any of these are defective or missing they need to be replaced and the step stool should be tagged "DO NOT USE".
|Published by the Berkeley Lab Communications Dept., Creative Services Office