The 131st Annual Meeting (November 15-19, 2003) of APHA

The 131st Annual Meeting (November 15-19, 2003) of APHA

3205.0: Monday, November 17, 2003 - Board 6

Abstract #67143

Roles of APHA and competition between two national model code organizations in the development of home stairway design requirements for injury prevention

Jake Pauls, CPE, Consulting Services in Building Use and Safety, 12507 Winexburg Manor Drive, Suite 201, Silver Spring, MD 20906, (301) 933-5275,

As part of a nation-scale program of environmental intervention there have been remarkable developments within two organizations competing to develop comprehensive families or sets of model codes for the built environment. The organizations are the International Code Council (ICC) and the National Fire Protection Association International (NFPA). Differences in process and product between the two organizations have been most marked in home safety requirements, especially design of stairways, a leading site of injurious falls. Partially countering the longstanding political advocacy role of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) was the entry by APHA, in 2001, into the model building code development process with memberships on seven NFPA committees. This contributed to significant improvements in the resulting requirements in the first edition of the NFPA Building Construction and Safety Code, differences which the NAHB claimed would make homes unaffordable. Contributing to successful intervention were two public policies adopted by APHA in 1999 and 2000. Lessons learned thus far include the need for persistence in advocacy for injury prevention within a larger context of usability of buildings, especially for vulnerable populations including older adults. The next stage of this national program, which includes a comprehensive assessment of injury prevention and other benefits relative to all costs, began in early 2003 with opposing initiatives by public health representatives and home builders focused on revisions to the ICC International Residential Code.

Learning Objectives:

Keywords: Housing, Injury Prevention

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
Organization/institution whose products or services will be discussed: Model codes, and code-development processes, of the International Code Council and the National Fire Protection Association International.
I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.

Injury Control Posters: Selected Topics

The 131st Annual Meeting (November 15-19, 2003) of APHA