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All you need to know about non-slip flooring

According to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), around 37% of all accidents at work are caused by trips, slips and falls. Slip-resistant flooring is one way to protect people for these common accidents in the workplace and at home.

Most falls and trips on slippery floors cause minor injuries, but for elderly or frail persons, injuries can be more serious and even deadly.

Installing non-slip flooring is essential in wet areas and food preparation rooms where liquids are often spilt. Non-slip flooring is also important in places with elderly people, such as care homes and health centres.

What are the benefits of non-slip flooring?

Non-slip flooring helps provide a safe working environment for staff, and shows an organisation cares about staff and visitors. Trips and falls can be costly if accident sufferers claim compensation. If an organisation does not adequately protect staff from accident risks, they can be prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive, thus disrupting the business and harming its reputation.

What is slip resistance?

Slip resistance is an indication of how rough a floor is and how positive traction reduces the risk of slips and falls. The slip resistance of a floor is measured by the coefficient of friction (COF), which is the force necessary to hold two materials together – namely the foot and the floor. The COF indicates the force necessary to resist slipping. A COF of 0.5 is enough to prevent slipping on most floors, but a higher COF is needed when pulling and pushing objects is required, or on inclined floors.

Keep it clean

The COF of a slip-resistant floor is affected by how clean it is. A floor covered with grease or liquids is obviously going to be more slippery, so it is regular cleaning is important, as is drying any wet surfaces promptly.

Also, a worn floor may lose its slip resistance, so routinely check the floor and be prepared to replace it if worn.

What types of non-slip flooring are there?

There are several types of non-slip flooring, and a floor installation company will advise organisations and individuals on which is best for them.

Slip-resistant vinyl is the most popular type of non-slip flooring, being cost-effective, durable and low-maintenance.

Hardwood is good for residential properties, with its wood grain providing a natural non-slip surface, but is no good for wet areas like bathrooms. Porcelain or ceramic tiles are better in high-moisture areas.

Anyone unsure about how slip-resistant their floors are can hire a slip testing service that will determine the COF rating of any floor.

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