Every workplace can benefit from a kick step at some point or another – from schools to libraries, to offices, to workshops. Here is our guide to what kick steps are, how they are used, and how they can benefit you.
What are kick steps?
Kick steps are great for reaching things that are just out of reach but don’t require a stepladder. They usually comprise just one or two threads, to allow the user to reach the top shelf, change a light bulb or get the cobwebs out of a corner.
Because they are so small and compact, workplace kick steps are very handy – you can easily pick them up and put them where you need them, they don’t take up nearly as much space as a step ladder and they are very safe to use.
How are kick steps used?
The user places the kick step into position beside what they need to reach. It needs to be on a flat, even surface to be sure that it will not tip over when in use, and most models will come with non-slip feet to make sure that they don’t slide around when in use. The user either steps directly onto the top surface of the step, or if there are different levels, ascends the treads just like they would a ladder. Good quality kick steps will have non-slip treads, for even more safety.
Because the steps are reasonably solid, they do not shift when in use – the weight of the person using it works to keep it in place.
How can kick steps benefit you?
Wherever you work, you can benefit from kick steps. They allow you to increase your everyday storage upwards – giving you greater storage possibilities without increasing the footprint used. They also allow you to easily reach things without having to strain or stretch – two areas that are common causes of workplace injuries.
Of course, you can always use step ladders to reach top shelves or lightbulbs. The issue here is that step ladders need more space to store and more floor space when actually unfolded in use. Also, if you are stocking shelves, in a retail space or a library, for example, then you will need to keep getting down from your ladder, moving it, making sure that it is still set up safely and correctly, then re-ascending. A kick step can simply be stepped on and off and then easily kicked or otherwise moved along to the new position.
What should you look out for?
There are two main types of kick step: the circular model also known as a kick step stool or kick stool, and the kind that looks more like a mini staircase. Both are very easy to use, with the stair-type model better for balance and those with larger feet (the circular type can often have a smaller top surface).
If you are particularly concerned about balance, consider a step with a support post – it gives the user a little extra stability as they climb or when they are working at the new height.
If you are looking to get a kick step for your business, be sure to get one that is marked as meeting the British Standard requirements for step stools (BS EN 141813), as these will be of higher build quality than most domestic-type models.