FALL RIVER, MA - The Stairways Manufacturing Association and its British counterpart signed a reciprocal membership agreement, with plans to jointly research, and track staircase performance and safety, updates on standards and regulations, environmental issues, developments in accreditation, certification and codes.

“Stairs remain one of the most common areas for accidents with over 800 recorded deaths attributed to slips, trips and falls on staircases every year in the U.K.," says The British Woodworkers Federation Stair Scheme, headed by Iain McIlwee, BWF CEO. Many of the problems are caused by faulty stair design or installation, and often from the use of inferior products, he says. Such problems in the staircase market  undermine quality manufacturers along with inferior ones.

“We hope that, by joining forces with the most reputable firms in the U.S. represented by the SMA, we can form a long-term cooperative relationship and collaborate on new initiatives to grow and strengthen the market for high quality, third-party certificated stairs.”

Dave Cooper, executive director of the SMA, the existing SMA Code and Stair Design Education and Certification programs in the U.S. will be enhanced by the connection. The BWF Stair Scheme was established in 2011 to raise awareness of timber stair standards, to give recognition to high quality stairs and to improve safety. 

The BWF Stair Scheme now represents approximately 70% of the U.K. timber stair market. The USA’s Stairway Manufacturers’ Association, formed in 1988, has grown to include stair part manufacturers, stair builders, installers, millwork distributors and related ancillary businesses that support the stairway industry. http://www.bwf.org.uk/membership/stair-scheme  http://www.stairways.org/

Have something to say? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.