You Can Be Safe With Industrial Flooring
Chris Dobbie, northern regional manager at Flowcrete UK, discusses how industrial flooring can help create a safer environment:
SLIPS and trips are the most common cause of accidents in the workplace, says the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). Over 10,000 workers were seriously injured after a slip or trip last year.
The main causes, says HSE, include cleaning, environment, footwear, people, contamination, obstacles and, of course, flooring.
Looking at flooring, anti-slip surfaces are commonly seen as the major factor in achieving safety underfoot. However, resin flooring can also help reduce risks, incorporating factors such as cleaning and obstacles.
For example, bright signage can be applied on industrial flooring, including demarcation and instructional patterns to outline different zones – marking out walkways and aisles, loading bays and stacking areas, signposting people safely around a plant and highlighting potential dangers.
Drainage within the floor can also help reduce the risk of slips and trips in areas subjected to water and fluids, having these channelled away from the sur face as quickly as possible.
I The main question relating to slip resistance is whether a site is wet or dry. Wet zones need particular attention because they are where most slip injuries occur. Here slip resistance is usually achieved by adding a coarser finish, often aggregate, to create greater resistance and giving more friction and enhanced grip.
The need for a slip-resistant finish should be balanced with cleanability. The greater the slip- resistance, the more attention must be paid to the floor’s cleaning regime.
A really coarse floor can be more difficult to clean, but modern flooring systems allow designs to be fine tuned to match individual environments, meeting maintenance needs with slip-resistance.
I To achieve the right result, those in charge should, at an early stage, identify what the building will be used for, and anticipate any future uses. From that analysis, the correct specification for a fit-for-purpose floor can
By choosing the right type of floor, the correct grading of slip resistance and durability can be specified to ensure a floor can withstand the required cleaning regime, such as steam cleaning.
This is particularly important because if it’s an area where, for example, grease and fats are used and these cannot be cleaned effectively from the floor, then the debris becomes a slip hazard.
The floor must also withstand the wear and tear expected of it. Resistance to chemicals, wheeled- traffic, impacts and other factors all must be considered. Otherwise these could adversely affect the floor, creating an environment where trips are more likely.
I Further information on avoiding slips and trips can be found at: www.hse.gov.uk/slips
You can assess a floor’s slip resistance using established measurements which are outlined in a document from FeRFA, (the Resin Flooring Association), – ‘Assessing The Slip Resistance Of Resin Floors.’
This article has been reproduced from the Contract Flooring Journal website. You can find them at www.contractflooringjournal.co.uk.