Blackpool MP’s delight as support for safety on stairs campaign is rewarded

A Blackpool MP has welcomed a Government change which could make homes a safer place.

By Tim Gavell
Friday, 8th April 2022, 12:30 pm

Paul Maynard, Conservative MP for Blackpool North and Cleveleys had campaigned with the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents for a change in building regulations which would make stairs safer.

He had tabled an amendment to the Building Safety Bill which called on developers to build wider and shallower stairs in a bid to reduce the estimated 700 a year deaths attributed to falls and trips on stairs.

Mr Maynard said: “It is great news that my safer stairs campaign has been successful and the Government has caved in. I didn’t even need to push it to a vote when it came back to the Commons. Let’s hope that in new houses, the risks of stair injuries can be significantly reduced, and lives saved as a result.”

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Paul Maynard MP

Now the Government has committed to consultation on updating the Building Regulations to include British Standard 5395-1 on stair design, pledging to complete the review “as expeditiously as possible, and certainly within the year”.

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The change to the Building Regulations would significantly improve the safety of all new-build homes, with the updated stair design associated with a 60 per cent reduction in the risk of falls.

RoSPA, who identified stair safety as a significant threat to the UK population, has called falls on the stairs “a hidden killer” which claims the lives of over 700 people in England every year, and hospitalises 43,000 more.

Errol Taylor, RoSPA’s chief executive officer, said: “It is a credit to our resolve, and the resolve of our supporters, that so many politicians and peers have backed us by making impassioned speeches in both houses.

“Our work will continue until the consultation is complete, and the standard is a legal requirement fully reflected in the Building Regulations. And in this regard, I would like to commend our partners who have stood with us, and provided their backing all the way.

"This is as much an achievement for these enlightened house builders as it is for RoSPA – ultimately it is our incredibly important coalitions with the industry that have placed us in this position. Together these actions will save many, many lives and unnecessary injuries for thousands of people.”

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