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The Correct Profiles Help Reduce Accidents

Accessories product manager at Gradus, Rachael Robertson, explains how contractors can reduce the risk of slip and trip accidents on stairs:

ALTHOUGH there are many variants that can contribute to stair safety, from the slipperiness of floor surface or floorcovering to the tread and riser dimensions of each step, a simple measure to help reduce slip and trip accidents is to highlight and provide slip-resistance at the step edge through the use of stair edgings.
An essential safety feature within any public building, stair edgings define the step edge and create underfoot friction to help reduce the risk of slips, trips and falls on staircases.

To meet the latest guidelines, such as The Building Regulations 2000 Approved Document M (ADM) and BS8300:2009+A1:2010, a permanently contrasting material is recommended, rather than temporary materials such as paints or tapes that can fade or peel off.

The correct insert should be selected for the conditions, to ensure that the right level of slip- resistance is achieved. Inserts that are for use in dry interior conditions will not perform effectively when the stairs

become wet.

Stair edgings can also help to deliver inclusive environments by creating visual contrast between the edge of each step and the staircase floorcovering, making stairs and buildingsmoreaccessibleforallusersand
especially visually impaired people. However, achieving visual contrast is not as straightforward as it may first appear. It is important that a tonal contrast is achieved between the stair edging and floorcovering, measured using Light Reflectance Values (LRVs) in accordance with BS8493:2008+A1:2010.

There should be at least a 30 point difference on the LRV scale between the stair edging and floorcovering for a suitable contrast to be achieved.

Therefore, for contractors to be confident about delivering visual contrast, then they need to request LRV test reports from both the stair edging and floorcovering manufacturers.

Increasing stair safety is also important on external stairs, where the step edge is commonly defined using paints or tapes.

A stair edging that offers slip-resistance and is resistant to weathering from the elements should be installed to provide a permanent solution. Gradus offers a wide range of profiles suitable for exterior and interior use. By installing stair edgings that meet the requirements of The Building Regulations 2000 Approved Document M (ADM), BS8300:2009+A1:2010 and LRV visual contrast; contractors, specifiers and building owners can have peace of mind that the edgings will help to improve the safety and accessibility ofabuilding.

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