Continuous handrail where winders used for landing

New construction. If this had a single landing, the handrail could terminate at the bottom of the upper set of steps, then continue at the top of the lower set of steps. The landing has a riser in it though.
I’m going to call attention it but don’t think I’ll call it a defect.

***I’d call attention, too. Safety Hazard ?? ***

IRC 311.5.6.2 Continuity,'shall be continuous for the full length of the flight, from a point directly above the top riser of the flight to a point directly above the lowest riser of the flight.

Then I guess some would argue the end of the flight is at the landing, or the top and bottom of the whole run.

I designed an exit stair in an office building once, with a riser in the platform like that, and did I ever pay a price! The code in effect at that time said that a flight of stairs should not be less than three risers, and the building inspector deemed that single riser a “flight”. Problem: the stairwell openings were already built in steel and concrete. I had to really scramble to fit an extra riser in one of my runs.

I was taught even before that, that one either uses three risers or none, as a matter of good practice.

Like Rich Hetzel alluded to, this becomes a matter of interpretation by the Code Official.

What you are seeing in the above photos is not technically a handrail.

It is a guardrail.

Guardraills and handrails are not neccesarily the same thing.

Guardrails are placed on the open sides of stairs to prevent falls off the open sides of stairs and are not required to be continuous.

Only handrails are required to be continuous.

Only if a guardrail height meets both the minimum and maximum
for a handrail (34-38"), meets the graspability requirements, and is continuous can a guardrail also be considered the same thing.

In this case, IMHO, all you have is a guardrail…no handrail.

Here is a helpful link:

I just failed a similar set of stairs on a new construction final code inspection because the builder had a 42" high guardrail only.

He argued it was both graspable and continuous (and it was) but the guardrail height exceeded the 38" maximum.

I required him to install a continuous handrailing on the wall side of the stairs.

In this photo above I would note the complete lack of a handrail altogether, which should be continuously mounted on the wall side of the stairway.

But that’s just my humble opinion and I know other Code Inspectors who would say this stair is compliant because the landing technically makes what you see two stairways, not one.