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Raised trim at tread is trip hazard- IRC ?

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Whether it is a code violation or not, they are paying for your opinion. It can be a trip hazard without being IRC violation.

My comment would be if I felt it was unsafe: "Raised trim on stairway steps is a potential trip hazard. For your families and guests enhanced safety recommend a qualified professional remove the trim so this hazard no longer exists"

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Just say this yesterday on my inspection where the owner-builder laminated the stairway too. I'm calling it a potential trip Hazard but can't find anything against this in the IRC? Any suggestions appreciated.


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Not to be picky (but this comment is -[:-bigeyes- sorry). I suggest you remove the word potential. I would just call it a trip hazard. Aren't all trip hazards "Potential" ?

I see this a lot when the stair treads are designed for hardwood and the adjacent floors are carpeted or covered with vinyl tiles.

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Take a look at ASTM F 1637. This is what attorneys will review in a lawsuit.

I had some communication with Doug Hansen a couple years ago about trip hazards and building standards. His reply to my inquiries about uneven/raised walking surfaces:

"Basically what the standard says is that the maximum deviation is 1/2 inch, and that any deviation over 1/4 inch has to be beveled."

This may also be applicable to your situation: ASTM, F1637-95, 6.1.2; F1637-07, 7.1.2 - Step nosings shall be readily discernible, slip resistant, and adequately demarcated. Random, pictorial, floral, or geometric designs are examples that can camouflage a step nosing.

I would consider that nosing to be camouflaged.

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Then a lawyer might say " What we have here is a 'potential' slip and fall hazard... Hardwood stairs needs that raised area so my client who always walks with his socks on doesn't slip, and if he does the raised area would keep his feet from sliding over the edge and him from falling"

The inspector should have recommended non slip steps.... hmmmm

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Was the riser flush to the tread and a transition strip added?

Did the tread extend past the riser by 3/4"?

Was the tread material a laminate or was it solid (such as BRUCE Flooring)? I ask because of what looks like a micro grove in picture.

Either way it's wrong...either in design or application.

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A little something to look at:[:-magnify


Look at pg 390, 391 and 392



IMPORTANT SAFETY NOTICE: The installation of laminate flooring on stairs

is a fully adhered system. Under no circumstances should foam underlayment

be placed on stair steps or risers. This will result in an unsafe condition. Do

not use over-the-top step nose moulding on individual stair treads.

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Thought I saw installation instructions that may have been used. Despite Installation Instructions it will boil down to an argument over opinion and design. You will have to choose between personal opinion and manufacture installation instructions. Should the occasion arise.

http://www.homedepot.com/catalog/pdfIma ... 2360af.pdf

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In advanced societies, folks develop words to describe things like conditions that could cause someone to trip or fall and be injured.

These same advanced societies have books of words that describe things. They're called dictionaries. If one looks in a dictionary, one will see that the single word "hazard" very accurately describes that condition that some folks choose to describe in entire sentences that provide no more clarity than the single simple word. I suppose there is the advantage of sounding like one is conversing with a 9 year old.

To each their own....

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Because I'm a nerd, and because I have an endless fascination with words and their meaning, I had to dig into this and plow through my dictionaries, the internet, Wiki, etc.

Hazard is not imprecise. It is quite precise. The term is used extensively throughout all manner of studies involving risk and risk assessment. Not just extensively, it is the word used almost exclusively.

I also learned that the idea of a "potential" hazard is actually called a dormant hazard. It is a standard description in assessing risk.

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