Good safety flooring can be the thing that prevents injuries in the workplace, especially when you consider how many accidents at work are fall related.
The most common workplace injuries happen as a result of a fall. In fact, a surprisingly large number of people die from falls each year; so many, in fact, that it is actually the second most common cause of accidental deaths worldwide.
There are many environments where installing safety flooring needs to be an important consideration, so as to minimise the risk in both commercial and public sector environments.
Spills and other contaminants
When something is spilled onto a floor, it can create a film that nullifies the grip of a person’s shoe and causes them to slip and fall. A wet film only needs to have a thickness of 1-2 µm – about one tenth as thick as a human hair – and it can cause a shoe to slip. Similarly, if allowed to build up dry contaminants like dust or sand can behave like millions of tiny balls and cause a slip or fall.
Safety flooring nullifies these things through the incorporation of aggregates in a wear layer. These aggregates can penetrate a wet film to promote good contact with a person’s shoes, or sit taller than the particles of dry contaminants. The importance of keeping floors clean and well maintained however can not be overstated, as a way to prevent accidents.
The best safety flooring offers sustained slip resistance in a wet environment – look for RRL Pendulum Test (wet) – > 36 results on flooring specification sheets. The pendulum test coefficient of friction (CoF) test, is where a trained professional assesses the slipperiness of a floor with a pendulum that has been fitted with a standard rubber sole. It tests for skid resistance by checking pendulum test values (PTV) under a controlled contact of the pendulum against the floor. The lower the PTV (for example, a score of 0 to 24), the higher the chance of slipping. A score of 36 or higher indicates an unlikely chance of slipping on the floor. Different sliders on the pendulums are used depending on whether the environment is made for shod feet or bare feet.
Safety Flooring from Duraflor
Duraflor safety flooring, such as Duragrip and Resolute, are attractive flooring ranges which are especially designed for high-slip risk areas. The company also offers a new collection of flooring including Galahad and Galahad Wood – a collection of different colours and designs including a safety floor wood-effect. These are perfect for the healthcare environment, as the flooring covering continually eliminates 99% of all known bacteria (including MRSA), while also offering the highest standard of slip resistance (RRL Pendulum Test (wet) – > 36).
Featured image Galahad Wood