Railings are designed to keep people safe.
When a property management company and landlord did not replace old, worn and rotted railings on the porches of an apartment complex in DC, and did not inspect the railings or take any corrective action, what happened to J.T., a guest at the the apartment, could have happened to anyone.
And that is the problem with safety violations - they can harm anyone in the community.
This owner and property manager chose not to fix the railing on a deck. From the outside, it looked like the railing was old and needed to be replaced, but you couldn't tell that from the inside.
J.T. was visiting her daughter and helping with a granddaughter. She had just put the baby down for a nap and was heating something on the stove when she stepped out on the deck to enjoy a minute of a warm spring day. Leaning against the railing, it gave way. An instant later, she was on the concrete walk below, crying for help - not for herself, but for the baby asleep inside with the stove on.
A neighbor ran in to shut off the stove. Others helped her up. Even with a massive rotator cuff tear in the shoulder she landed on and in extreme pain, she waited with the baby until her daughter got home from work.
After surgery and therapy, she still has problems with the shoulder - because a property management company didn't make a simple repair to a problem they should have known about and corrected. Is there anything more basic to safety than a railing to prevent people from falling?