The right safety flooring for your commercial kitchen

commercial kitchen safety flooring

Why safety flooring is necessary

Early Saturday morning: the sunrise’s red rays have scant pierced the restaurant’s windows, but being the owner, you’re in the kitchen even before the executive chef, preparing for the typical busy lunch hour. Looking down from a work station, you spot one of those quarry tiles you purchased, the one with the miniscule crack last week, and now that crack’s grown to roughly the size of the San Andreas Fault. 

Frustrated, considering you got a great deal and installed them just three months ago, you decide to scoot the rubber mat by your feet – the one that’s covered in dirt and caked with grease – a foot or so over. You’ll get to it later. 

The lunch hour comes, and the kitchen resumes its typical madhouse feel as chefs and line cooks prepare meals while servers and hosts burst through the double doors with orders and sent-back meals.   

A loud crash. Dishes shatter onto the already-busted up quarry tile. Running to the work station, you find your sous chef flat on his back. And right next to him, the rubber mat you moved. It looked like someone had kicked up a corner earlier. 

Your sous chef doesn’t look to be seriously hurt, but he needs to miss two weeks of work. While your kitchen productivity suffers without him, you start his worker’s compensation payout. You receive word that he cracked his ankle on the hard quarry tile and requires minor surgery – which he’s requesting you pay for. If you don’t comply, he’ll surely sue. 

Still don’t feel you should invest in a high-quality floor?

How much slip resistance is enough?

As a restaurant owner, you are responsible for ensuring not only the safety of your kitchen flooring, but for the wellbeing of your personnel as long as they share your space. 

You read stats about slips and falls being at the top of the most frequent food service accidents, and that they can cost employers tens of thousands in worker’s compensation, so you’re scared of injury and litigation. You want the best, but you’re not sure what that would be for your kitchen. 

Be at ease, restaurant owner: Not every commercial kitchen is created equal, and not every floor is fit for your purpose. And, with the right floor, the chance of slips and falls can be reduced to one in 100,000 or even one in a million – a drastic decrease in injury risk.

While not a resolute standard, the ADA recommends a 0.6 or greater Static Coefficient of Friction (SCoF) value. SCoF measures how slippery a floor is, and a value of 0.6 or more is considered a safe walking surface. However, SCoF test methods only count for dry floors and don’t accurately account for wet floors. No one slips on a dry floor. 

R Value, another measure of slip resistance, is a rating given to a floor based on chances of slipping while wearing shoes. Determined by the Ramp Test, a popular slip resistance test in Europe, ratings range from R9-R13 – R9 floors being the most prone to slips and not suited for kitchens, and R12 and above the best chances of reducing slips. 

However, not every kitchen needs R12 flooring – your needs can be based on overall kitchen volume and busy-ness. Have a small, breakfast-lunch diner or a butcher shop? Perhaps an R10 or R11 floor would work. But for an all-day, industrial kitchen, especially one with pandemonium-like dinner hours, Altro recommends R12.

If you’re unsure, or your kitchen lays right in the middle of what could constitute an R11 or R12, be safe and install R12.   

An R12-rated flooring, such as Altro Stronghold 30, grants a one in a million chance of slipping in a wide variety of conditions – not just water. See our table below on Altro products approved for commercial kitchens and their slip-and-fall statistics. 

For more information:

Nick Alexandropoulos, Marketing Communications Specalist

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Posted: 6/7/2017 3:06:29 PM by Jesse Wade | with 0 comments