Don’t Compromise Stair Safety With Branded Edgings, Warns Gradus

Gradus Stair Edgings
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18 April 2011

A recent increase in the promotion of stair edgings featuring logos, branding and messaging is raising concern amongst the flooring industry as well as leading access experts at the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB). 

Stair edgings should provide a single solid band of colour that highlights the edge of each step and provides visual contrast with adjacent floorcoverings, helping building users and particularly those with visual impairments to safely navigate staircases. This reduces the risk of staircase accidents and helps to create inclusive environments, in line with Equality Act 2010 guidelines.

Branded stair edgings will not deliver a single solid consistent band of colour across the width of each stair tread, which can have serious implications for building safety and accessibility.

Chris Fielding, Senior Access Consultant for RNIB, said: “We have recently seen an increase in companies seeking to promote their brand identity on stair edgings on public staircases. We do not recommend this practice at all.

“Advertising in these places will only reduce the effectiveness of the contrasting stair edgings and it can also be visually confusing for people with sight loss. This has the effect of making the stairs more dangerous and difficult to use, which is exacerbated in high traffic environments.”

Keith Oakes, Technical Director for Gradus, added: “Incorporating any form of pattern, lettering or design into stair edgings is extremely bad practice. Stair edgings are an essential safety feature for all building users and this should be their primary purpose, not brand promotion. By compromising the band of solid colour, branded stair edgings could become safety hazards in their own right.

“For peace of mind, we would urge flooring contractors and specifiers to avoid the use of such stair edgings and to select stair edgings with a solid band of colour instead that will improve stair safety by delivering effective visual contrast and defining each individual step, further minimising the risk of accidents on stairs.”

Gradus offers an extensive range of stair edgings in four profile designs to accommodate most step shapes in a choice of materials, including aluminium and PVC-u. For further information on Gradus stair edgings, please contact Customer Support on 01625 428922 or visit www.gradusworld.com.