Caution: Watch Your Step. A phrase we are all familiar with. More than 9 million slip and fall accidents occur in North America each year. Slip and falls are the single largest cause of Emergency room visits, and about 25,000 people a day are hospitalized as a result of these accidents (National Safety Council and Department of Labor). These accidents can occur at home, in the work place, or in other public areas.
There are many products to choose from when it comes to slip and fall protection. Each product should be evaluated for the specific situation. Each product has its own pro’s and con’s.
Tape on products: While inexpensive and easy to apply, this slip and fall solution may not be the best fit for long term slip resistance. Tape on products can be a good solution for home stairs or light commercial properties, but will not hold up in the long run for heavy traffic or industrial situations.
Epoxy: Epoxy is a combination of resins that harden once combined. Epoxy flooring can either be self applied or a can be applied by a company specializing in it. Epoxy flooring and coatings come in a variety of styles, colors and textures. Slip resistant epoxy can be cost effective in the short run, but may have to be re-applied in heavy traffic areas after some time.
Fiberglass: Fiberglass flooring is made up of extremely thin fibers of glass. It is light weight and available in a variety of colors. Fiber glass is frequently used because of its high ratio of surface area to weight. Unfortunately it gets slippery when wet and can let off toxic fumes if exposed to high heat.
Diamond/Checker Plate: Diamond plate is a metal plate that has raised bumps or diamonds on it. This is a cost effective solution that is used in many industries. While diamond plate is more slip resistant than smooth plate, it gets quite slippery if it is wet or covered in an oily substance. Diamond plate is commercially available and is generally constructed of steel, galvanized steel or aluminum.
Manufactured metal slip resistant flooring products: Metal products with a metal or grit surface mechanically applied to them can be a long lasting option for slip resistant flooring. Options containing grit will wear quicker than their durable metal coating alternative. Grit coating can also wear off in areas such as food processing plants, and can affect machinery and end products. Products that have a molten metal surface applied to them are very durable and will not contaminate machinery. The metal surface is very abrasive and very slip resistant. The molten metal coating can be applied to a variety of metal products including plate, grating, ladder rungs/covers, road plates, vault covers, drain covers, flattened expanded metal, and perforated plate among other. These products created with molten metal are available by custom order, and come in steel, stainless steel, aluminum and galvanized steel. While the initial cost of manufactured metal slip resistant flooring may be quite a bit higher than diamond plate or other slip resistant products, the result will outlast these other options by years if not decades.
Each slip resistant product can be utilized in different situations. Do your research before choosing the best solution for your project.
Sources: The Department of Labor, National Safety Council, Wikipedia
For more information on slip resistant metal products please visit www.slipnot.com. SlipNOT® Metal Safety Flooring manufactures products that exceed OSHA and ADA requirements for slip resistant standards. Contact them at: 313-923-0400, 800-754-7668 or via email at email@example.com