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Commercial Flooring News

Some Safety Flooring Is Ahead Of The Others

Sarah Igglesden on how safety flooring can keep you out of court

WHO would YOU sue if you suffered a slip? A new survey that makes a strong case for the growing use of safety flooring. Nasty slips can be painful – not only for the people who fall, but also for the organisations that may be sued.
As our society becomes increasingly litigious, good safety flooring means more than just providing a safe and healthy environment. With over 8,000 major injuries caused by slips, trips or falls reported to the Health and Safety Executive last year, safety flooring is also helping to protect organisations from potential lawsuits.
A recent Tarkett survey of 1,000 people showed that Brits are most likely to sue a supermarket if they suffered a slip on the premises with a third of respondents considering taking legal action against a large food retailer.
However, hospitals, local authorities and schools also fared badly, with 20%, 16% and 12% respectively ready to consider suing. Worryingly for employers, almost a quarter, 23%, of people would consider suing their place of work.
So it’s not surprising that safety flooring has become a popular choice for specifiers, architects and interior designers. For instance, when designing sheltered accommodation or a nursing home, it’s both an ethical and a commercial responsibility to ensure a healthy environment is created.
Research by the German Association of Architects and Interior Designers has shown that the right kind of flooring can encourage vulnerable people to feel composure and dignity because they are able to move freely with reduced fear of injury. When choosing flooring for a location where safety is a priority, you should choose anti-slip surfaces with a TRRL Pendulum test result of >36 rating, which are shown to help prevent falls and broken bones.
Anti-slip flooring is also a good idea in areas where spills occur frequently, such as bathrooms and food preparation areas. Safety flooring for both wet and dry areas in co-ordinating colours is now available to give all-round protection.
Arguably, it is worth considering safety surfaces for any project – a belt and braces approach to ensure a safer environment.
Of course, looks are important and it’s true that until recently, safety flooring was designed to look safe, with visible slip-resistant particles.
Now, however, designers and specifiers have the opportunity to get creative with floors that are practically stylish in every way.
To provide a complete solution, safety flooring is now available with complimentary wall coverings and colour matched installation accessories. Safety flooring no longer looks like safety flooring.
Today’s TRRL Pendulum test >36 anti-slip flooring products are stylish and chic, contributing to interior design in a highly positive way with vibrant colours, finishes and textures.
Patterned safety flooring is also becoming increasingly popular, for example wood and ceramic-effect products, where the ‘real thing’ could constitute a definite slip hazard.
Some safety flooring adds extra benefits, too. Some are in tile form with anti-slip properties, which allows flexible installation with little wastage. Acoustic safety flooring avoids the need to put down a second sound-proof layer in noise-sensitive areas.
With good quality anti-slip flooring, you can expect durability, easy maintenance and a high level of stain resistance. And that’s all in addition to providing a safer environment.

Sarah Igglesden is brand manager at Tarkett UK

This article has been reproduced from the Contract Flooring Journal. You can find them at