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British Woodworking Federation Staircase Scheme

As a founder member of the British Woodworking Federation’s Staircase Scheme, our standard of workmanship and knowledge of the regulations associated with the fabrication of timber staircases is assured for the following:

  • design
  • layout
  • manufacture
  • installation.

At every stage of the process from design, through manufacture to installation, BWF accredited stair manufacturers must ensure that specific criteria are met for the type of staircases they build.

Everyday slips and trips on staircases still account for over 350,000* injuries on domestic stairs in the UK

The BWF Stair Scheme was created in direct response to a review of the type of health and safety risks typically driven by poor design and unreliable manufacture of staircases. The subsequent report, published in September 2008, forced a new approach to stair making. Backed up with industry recognised accreditation and certification - the only one of its kind in the UK, the scheme aims to support anyone who is faced with a requirement to understand the complexities of the regulations and standards associated with the design, manufacture and installation of timber staircases. The scheme covers all types of staircase, be they for domestic or common use, or if they are required to be fire-protected. Members must follow the code of conduct which covers control systems for effective factory production and are regularly audited to ensure that the high standards expected are being met.

BWF Stair Scheme: interpreting standards for safer stairs

The scheme helps to interpret the required standards for those looking to refurbish an existing staircase; or to replace an old staircase with new. Standards are updated from time to time, and this can lead to confusion with building regulations, for example. Ultimately, the BWF Stair Scheme puts staircase manufactures and regulators, clients, contractors and end-users in touch with current best practice, with the aim of ensuring safe staircases which are fit for purpose. This includes a new third-party certification for fire protected common stairs, and their approved manufacturers and suppliers. Supported by The Loss Prevention Certification Board, this is further helping to promote safety standards in an increasing market for timber stairs.

BWF installation of timber stairs

Guidance is available on the installation of timber stairs from the BWF, which provides all the practical information needed to ensure the safe installation of timber staircases. Members of the BWF Stair Scheme have collaborated on the production of this guidance, and are therefore able to advise house builders on all aspects of stair design, function, manufacture and installation. Such timber stairs are constructed with an attention to detail that enables a high standard of installation by contractors. End users can also be confident that their new staircase is safe to use; is absent of squeaks and creaks; and will give lasting service.

* British Woodworking Federation, June 2017