January 15, 2020 Kathi Markan

Trip Hazards

I hope your holidays were fantastic!  In this January edition of our HUD-REAC newsletter, I am discussing Trip Hazards – what it is, where it can be recorded, and the scoring impact!


HUD’s Definition of Trip Hazards

  • Tripping (Health & Safety – Hazards)
    • You see any physical defect that poses a tripping risk, generally in walkways or other traveled areas. Typically, the defect must present at least a three-quarter inch


  • Elevator – Tripping (Health & Safety)
    • An elevator is misaligned with the floor by more than 3/4 inch. The elevator does not level as it should, which causes a tripping hazard.


  • If you don’t have a ruler – a penny is EXACTLY 3/4”!!!

  • How many points is a trip hazard?
    • Trip hazards are only scored (points against you) in 2 Inspectable Areas:
      1. Site (Parking Lots, Walkways, Playground, etc)
      2. Systems – Elevators
    • Depending on the size of your property, a Site trip hazard can be as high as 7.5 points and an Elevator trip hazard as high as 10 points!


  • Trip hazards in Units and Common Areas are NOT WORTH POINTS
      • There is a cord in the walkway of an office? NO POINTS!
      • The tenants have cords all over their living room and hallway? NO POINTS!

  • Site Trip Hazards
    • If multiple trip hazards are recorded under Site (parking lots, walkways, etc) during an inspection, the FIRST trip hazard scores – the rest don’t!
    • Some trip hazards result in a “double-ding” – meaning you get hit with 2 separate deductions.
      1. Tree causing sidewalk to heave
    • Points for Level 3 Overgrown/Penetrating Vegetation
    • Points for the Trip Hazard 
      1. Pothole in the parking lot
        • Points for the Pothole (now a L3 because of the trip hazard)
        • Points for the Trip Hazard
  • What can I do about my trip hazards – my inspection is in 2 weeks?!
    • Rent a Grinder from Home Depot, Lowes or any other equipment rental place.
    • Call a company like https://rootedretrofitting.com/ that will do it for you
    • As a last resort, you can use Quikrete or an asphalt cold patch (depending on where the trip hazard is, of course) BUT THIS IS A TEMPORARY FIX!!!! And, there is a good chance the inspector will hit you with a NIS (Not Industry Standard)…but like I said, if you have no other choice, doing something is better than doing nothing.