The statistics of safety
Everyone's used a major public concourse at some point in their life. Somewhere big and busy, like a train station, for example. When it rains outside or, say, someone spills their coffee, parts of the station floor will be wet. And that can make it slippery.
If there was safety flooring with a lifetime sustained slip resistance of TRRL ≥36 on the concourse, the risk of anyone slipping would be one in a million. If a different type of flooring had been used, like smooth or rubber, the flooring would lose its slip resistance and over time the odds of someone slipping could be as high as one in two. That's a big difference.
Safety flooring with sustained slip resistance protects people from slips and falls for as long as it's in use.Sustained slip resistance is critical, it's how we can stop you from being one in two people that fall, and make you one in a million instead.
Why Altro is a safe choice
Not all flooring is as safe as ours. This is usually because it has a thin coating or emboss which can wear away; or it's smooth or rubber flooring, which only has sustained slip resistance in dry, contaminant-free conditions.
To us, only flooring that continues to provide TRRL ≥36 for its entire lifetime (the minimum HSE recommended level) can be considered a true safety floor, because it offers sustained slip resistance. In other words, it will continue to keep users safe for its lifetime.
And because it's our mission to keep your risk level to one in a million, all Altro safety flooring provides TRRL ≥36 for its lifetime.
How to stay safe
All safety flooring needs to be maintained to make sure it performs to expected standards. Things to consider include:
Always follow the manufacturer's cleaning recommendations. Incorrect cleaning can lead to a build-up of dirt and/or cleaning chemicals on the surface of the flooring which can act as a barrier to effective slip resistance.
Footwear plays an important role in slip prevention and recommendations can be made to staff in certain locations like hospitals and restaurants to significantly reduce the risk of injury.
This generally means anything that ends up on the floor and can include liquids like water and oil, as well as dry contaminants such as dust, flour and cardboard. Contaminants reduce available friction on the flooring and can lead to a slip or injury.
So What's The Risk?
We strongly recommend carrying out a risk assessment on any area you're thinking of installing flooring to identify all potential slip hazards. Some sectors clearly outline the need for risk assessments. The Department of Health's performance requirements for building elements used in healthcare facilities set out essential quality and safety standards. These performance requirements state that a risk assessment should be carried out before any new or replacement flooring or walling is installed, and should consider:
- slip and trip potential of foot traffic under different conditions
All of these factors can be made worse if lighting isn't good enough for users to see potential hazards. And stairs are a particularly dangerous area – around 500 people in the UK die each year in stair-related accidents.
Because we take safety so seriously, we think that risk assessments should become best practice in all sectors. This would protect people who use the flooring, and also those who are responsible for the health and safety of their employees and visitors.
If you need help carrying out a risk assessment, use the information sheet on the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) website.