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Hey all,

 

I have this unavoidable 'step' in the kitchen of one of my rentals.

Max height is around 4cm. Is this legally 'ok' i.e. do I need to 'mark' i.e. highlight it for health and safety ?

Don't want someone tripping and attempting to sue me!

 

Cheers

 

IMG_8429.jpg

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Steps...don't want a tragedy...

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21 minutes ago, Onoff said:

Steps...don't want a tragedy...

Eh?. SWMBO 'suggests' something 'visual'......

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I guess I'm asking when is a step a trip hazard?

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24 minutes ago, pocster said:

Eh?. SWMBO 'suggests' something 'visual'......

 

Ya missed the point, what a tragedy 😀

 

 

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1 minute ago, newhome said:

 

Ya missed the point, what a tragedy 😀

 

 

Tbh I did get the point after I posted 

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1 minute ago, pocster said:

Tbh I did get the point after I posted 

 

Too slow then - need to be fast in this game ;)

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There must be countless rented properties with changes in floor levels surely? One for a landlord and tenant forum I guess, or maybe @Ferdinand can advise. Clearly it's not wheelchair friendly but a renovation doesn't need to be afaik? 

 

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Some stuff for you

 

Quote

Trips and Falls on the level

 

This also applies to the garden and paths often associated with single trip steps and raised floor thresholds. To prevent an accident occurring we suggest,

Ensure that rooms have sufficient lighting.

Any trips steps should be highlighted by use of contrasting coloured strip

Keep floors clear of trailing flexes, wrinkled or fraying carpets or anything else that tenants might trip or slip on.

Floorboards should be laid to an even finish, and carpets and floor fittings throughout.

The property should be in good repair to ensure there are no trip hazards.

Floors, yards and paths should be in good condition. Any change in levels should be clearly defined and well lit.

 

http://www.homesafetyguidance.co.uk/downloads/fall-prevention-checklist.pdf

 

The sign should be good I imagine. Too late to put some leds there too I guess? 

 

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Looks pretty awful and may have been better had it been a proper step, say, 150mm high. The fact that it taper does not help. I would have gone for ramp, but at least a bit of tape shows you have done something.

 

A pissed person, someone carrying a tray or someone taking a step back at a party look prime candidates.  If anyone is all three, odds on you get sued!

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Looks like a disaster waiting to happen...... but as long as it’s legally ok...... 

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I should point out there was always 2 levels in the kitchen / diner - I don’t know why  I.e before the refurb 

Edited by pocster

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Perhaps some yellow tape along the vertical face of the step .

We seem to have ( like Brexit ) those who say “ it’s just a step “ and those “ accident waiting to happen “

I assume a sign and a yellow strip is enough !

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can you use some of that led tape along the vertical edge. 

 

If it was in my house (and I had no choice but to have it there) I would try and light the vertical. I would definitely also have something, paint or tape wrapping over the edge as my fall would tend t0 be down it rather than up it.  And probably put my foot actually on the 'step' and twist my ankle in the process.  Glow in the dark paint??? For that stumble in the dark for a glass of water. Motion sensor strip light.  

 

Having said that - if I tripped on it in my 20s/30s - no big deal.  At my age it is potentially a big deal

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3 minutes ago, Hecateh said:

 I would try and light the vertical.

 

Me too! Those stick on solar things might work maybe? And I’m with you about falling down. You’d likely bounce at 20 but do real damage a ‘few’ 😉 years later. One reason why I would no longer ride horses 🐴...

 

 

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18 hours ago, pocster said:

Hey all,

 

I have this unavoidable 'step' in the kitchen of one of my rentals.

Max height is around 4cm. Is this legally 'ok' i.e. do I need to 'mark' i.e. highlight it for health and safety ?

Don't want someone tripping and attempting to sue me!

 

Cheers

 

Houston, I think you have a problem.

 

I got myself a spiral fracture of my metatarsal going down a step of about this height back in 2002. It was a pain, as it was just after Golden Balls did his metatarsal, and I got ribbed horribly. All I did was miss the edge and stamp hard on the lower floor in my slipper.

 

I think at the very least you need specific comment from a Lettings Agent on the step, and probably from the Council HHSRS person in EH - perhaps the latter by phone. It is a nice HMO so there is nothing to be defensive about.

 

My opinion is that if you couldn't have got rid of it (you say it was impossible), then the hazard could have been designed out, and risk minimized, more effectively. I think marking it is a bit "sticky-plaster"; but certainly check what the regulators say.

 

As it is..

 

1 - This step is across the middle of the kitchen, and is not an expected height for a step. It is too high (>15-20mm) for something that your shoe just slopes over.

2 - The kitchen design maximises traffic on the step, because it is bang across the middle of the work triangle. Fridge below step ... sink, cooker above.

3 - The floor materials are hard and slippery, which will maximise slip risk and impact of landing. Never mind things like damp floors.

4 - There is no floor colour contrast so it is camouflaged.

5 - The step is full width in the kitchen, so people will traverse it at an angle ==> trip and slips more likely.

6 - Everybody who comes in or out of the back door must traverse it, which includes all the visitors who are not familiar with the house.

7 - It is in an HMO, where risks are known to be higher.

 

Ideally I would deal with 6 at design stage by swapping the window and door over, so visitors enter the house below the step. But that is a sunk cost.

 

Given the step, or as things are now and based on what I can see from the pther thread, I would probably want to do these things

 

1 - Make it a 2 part kitchen (cooking + eating) by dividing it along the length of the step with a wide peninsula unit / breakfast bar. The "sink" side of the BB would be along the line of the step,  leaving perhaps a 90 mm cm passageway at the end.

2 - I would put my 2 fridges under the BB on the "sink" side to constrain the work triangle, having built up the floor level with a platform to the level of the upper floor. I would probably leave the freezers where they are.

3 - I would have a BB eating section on the other side. As there is a BB now no one needs to carry anything down the step, which will help with heavy things even of ignored with light things, and gives you a denfence-narrative if ever needed.

4 - I would make my passageway round the end into a shallow ramp (1 in 12 or less) with a non-slippery (prob. textured rubber) surface and a discreet handrail. I think 1 in 12 means your BB is 1.2m+ from side to side; an ideal width. 

5 - I would have colour-contrasting and foot-feel contrasting surfaces in the two halves of the kitchen.

6 - I would then arrange things like the table appropriately.

 

If you wanted to do those changes, it may not be too expensive, but the place to start is a risk assessment from someone who will be doing the marketing or regulating. But mitigating any of my list 1..7 would help.

 

As LL I would be a little concerned about a scenario where someone breaks something, and decides to pretend it was the done in the kitchen. I could not disprove it.

 

As LL if the step is still there, I would think twice before renting to older tenants.

 

My take.


Ferdinand

 

Edited by Ferdinand
People are not 90mm thin

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30 minutes ago, Ferdinand said:

 

Houston, I think you have a problem.

 

I got myself a spiral fracture of my metatarsal going down a step of about this height back in 2002. It was a pain, as it was just after Golden Balls did his metatarsal, and I got ribbed horribly. All I did was miss the edge and stamp hard on the lower floor in my slipper.

 

I think at the very least you need specific comment from a Lettings Agent on the step, and probably from the Council HHSRS person in EH - perhaps the latter by phone. It is a nice HMO so there is nothing to be defensive about.

 

My opinion is that if you couldn't have got rid of it (you say it was impossible), then the hazard could have been designed out, and risk minimized, more effectively. I think marking it is a bit "sticky-plaster"; but certainly check what the regulators say.

 

As it is..

 

1 - This step is across the middle of the kitchen, and is not an expected height for a step. It is too high (>15-20mm) for something that your shoe just slopes over.

2 - The kitchen design maximises traffic on the step, because it is bang across the middle of the work triangle. Fridge below step ... sink, cooker above.

3 - The floor materials are hard and slippery, which will maximise slip risk and impact of landing. Never mind things like damp floors.

4 - There is no floor colour contrast so it is camouflaged.

5 - The step is full width in the kitchen, so people will traverse it at an angle ==> trip and slips more likely.

6 - Everybody who comes in or out of the back door must traverse it, which includes all the visitors who are not familiar with the house.

7 - It is in an HMO, where risks are known to be higher.

 

Ideally I would deal with 6 at design stage by swapping the window and door over, so visitors enter the house below the step. But that is a sunk cost.

 

Given the step, or as things are now and based on what I can see from the pther thread, I would probably want to do these things

 

1 - Make it a 2 part kitchen (cooking + eating) by dividing it along the length of the step with a wide peninsula unit / breakfast bar. The "sink" side of the BB would be along the line of the step,  leaving perhaps a 90 mm cm passageway at the end.

2 - I would put my 2 fridges under the BB on the "sink" side to constrain the work triangle, having built up the floor level with a platform to the level of the upper floor. I would probably leave the freezers where they are.

3 - I would have a BB eating section on the other side. As there is a BB now no one needs to carry anything down the step, which will help with heavy things even of ignored with light things, and gives you a denfence-narrative if ever needed.

4 - I would make my passageway round the end into a shallow ramp (1 in 12 or less) with a non-slippery (prob. textured rubber) surface and a discreet handrail. I think 1 in 12 means your BB is 1.2m+ from side to side; an ideal width. 

5 - I would have colour-contrasting and foot-feel contrasting surfaces in the two halves of the kitchen.

6 - I would then arrange things like the table appropriately.

 

If you wanted to do those changes, it may not be too expensive, but the place to start is a risk assessment from someone who will be doing the marketing or regulating. But mitigating any of my list 1..7 would help.

 

As LL I would be a little concerned about a scenario where someone breaks something, and decides to pretend it was the done in the kitchen. I could not disprove it.

 

As LL if the step is still there, I would think twice before renting to older tenants.

 

My take.


Ferdinand

 

Excellent help thank you.

Access via the rear door to the garden is less of an issue as the lounge has patio doors to the garden.

Tenants won't be older.

 

What I will do *for now* is put up a 'hazard; step' sticker. Also will 'yellow tape' the step. So awareness and visibility of it are improved.

Still waiting for the council to inspect for HMO license . So when they do will ask them their view. We both know they won't have a clue. But it's also part of their remit to point out any issues that need fixing in a HMO. It may be possible to build out below counter units and worktop from one of the sides to 'narrow' the entrance to the kitchen and therefore reduce risk of trip. 

 

 

I'm assuming you mean something like this? (forgive appauling artwork!)

IMG_8417.jpg

Edited by pocster

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8 minutes ago, pocster said:

Excellent help thank you.

Access via the rear door to the garden is less of an issue as the lounge has patio doors to the garden.

Tenants won't be older.

 

What I will do *for now* is put up a 'hazard; step' sticker. Also will 'yellow tape' the step. So awareness and visibility of it are improved.

Still waiting for the council to inspect for HMO license . So when they do will ask them their view. We both know they won't have a clue. But it's also part of their remit to point out any issues that need fixing in a HMO. It may be possible to build out below counter units and worktop from one of the sides to 'narrow' the entrance to the kitchen and therefore reduce risk of trip. 

 

 

 

 

You want practical protection as well as visibility - it could be 3am or they could be tipsy or on the phone. So I would also *firmly* stick something high-friction as a strip along the top edge of the step, probably in 150mm or 300mm width.

 

eg One of these or similar.

https://www.floorsaver.co.uk/products/safety-grip-anti-slip-tape?variant=43373952530&gclid=CjwKCAiA4OvhBRAjEiwAU2FoJcXcgLEksxhOORd-0Is7m292Y7FNvuqhEvvOCQmwZTrjzzR4toiukBoCS8UQAvD_BwE

 

F

Edited by Ferdinand

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3 minutes ago, Ferdinand said:

 

You want practical protection as well as visibility - it could be 3am or they could be tipsy or on the phone. So I would also *firmly* stick something high-friction as a strip along the top edge of the step, probably in 150mm or 300mm width.

 

eg One of these or similar.

https://www.floorsaver.co.uk/products/safety-grip-anti-slip-tape?variant=43373952530&gclid=CjwKCAiA4OvhBRAjEiwAU2FoJcXcgLEksxhOORd-0Is7m292Y7FNvuqhEvvOCQmwZTrjzzR4toiukBoCS8UQAvD_BwE

 

F

Thanks.

 

As a fellow LL I take all your advice seriously. I think a 'narrow' divider unit to split the kitchen would be the best practical approach. You can't tell from the photo but a BB can't be put in; as there are units etc. But I'm not too worried about that - to simply have a divider will be ok. At the same time make the 'step' visible with tape ; and the high friction tape you suggest also a wall sticker. If done the way I've badly drawn I could also fit a hand rail the far end.

 

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1 minute ago, pocster said:

Thanks.

 

As a fellow LL I take all your advice seriously. I think a 'narrow' divider unit to split the kitchen would be the best practical approach. You can't tell from the photo but a BB can't be put in; as there are units etc. But I'm not too worried about that - to simply have a divider will be ok. At the same time make the 'step' visible with tape ; and the high friction tape you suggest also a wall sticker. If done the way I've badly drawn I could also fit a hand rail the far end.

 

 

Just check that the tape is non abrasive ie textured rubbery like teh back of gym-matts not sandpapery like some of the stuff on yachts.

 

The last thing you want is tenants with a sandpaper-graze on their backsides.

 

That was just one I picked off Google.


F

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1 minute ago, Ferdinand said:

 

Just check that the tape is non abrasive ie textured rubbery like teh back of gym-matts not sandpapery like some of the stuff on yachts.

 

The last thing you want is tenants with a sandpaper-graze on their backsides.

 

That was just one I picked off Google.


F

 

1 minute ago, Ferdinand said:

 

Just check that the tape is non abrasive ie textured rubbery like teh back of gym-matts not sandpapery like some of the stuff on yachts.

 

The last thing you want is tenants with a sandpaper-graze on their backsides.

 

That was just one I picked off Google.


F

Ok.

But splitting the kitchen with a narrow work topped unit is the way to go yes? (put photo up after you replied )

Edited by pocster

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27 minutes ago, pocster said:

 

Ok.

But splitting the kitchen with a narrow work topped unit is the way to go yes? (put photo up after you replied )

 

I'd agree to splitting the kitchen, and consider carefully how much "walkway" you want to leave.

 

You could even put a similar thing the other side and leave the walkway in the middle 😀.

 

And I'd hope that "narrow" meant at least 300mm (ideally 600mm) - ie at least the width of wall units, so that it could function as something useful in the context - either as a slimline BB or a shelf to put things on. You could perhaps use wall cupboards or shelves to give extra space. Where it joins the side of the kitchen, you could just take out a 600 unit and leave a small gap as say a hoover or bin space.

 

Quote

I'm assuming you mean something like this? (forgive appauling artwork!)

Yep - that is the type of thing I had in mind. It will make them walk diagonally a little less, and act as "punctuation" in movement around the kitchen so there is a slowing-down and consideration at the hazard point.

 

If it were so narrow as to only be like a fence or a set of banisters they might protest :-).

 

F

 

Edited by Ferdinand
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