Slip resistance refers to the friction needed to prevent one object from slipping along another. In the context of slip and fall accident prevention, slip resistance measures just how much friction is needed to prevent someone from loosing their footing on a walking surface. Common sense tells us that some walking surfaces are more prone to accidents than others. Tile and hardwood, for example, are so smooth that slipping and sliding is common and worrisome. Carpeting, on the other hand, is course enough to provide enough friction to prevent slippage, even while jumping and running.
Slip resistance varies, however, depending on variables like seasonality, humidity, and surface conditions. In general, the common denominator that most greatly impacts fluctuations in slip resistance is liquid accumulation.
This spring, be aware of liquid accumulation and how it may impact slip resistance and accident rates throughout your facility, particularly in high traffic areas with tile, hardwood, or terrazzo flooring.
Products to Aid in Slip Resistance
There are various different products designed to improve slip resistance, most commonly by covering the walking surface with a material that has a high coefficient of friction. This ensures more traction is felt between shoe and floor, making it easier to find one’s footing and stay upright. To find the best product, it helps to look at each major part of the facility as a unique area with specific needs.
Sidewalks. These outdoor areas are exposed to the elements and require a weatherproof solution that provides traction even during rainstorms and late-spring ice, snow, and sleet. Rubber Scraper Mats are a very popular product, featuring a commercial-grade Nitrile rubber construction that stands tough under these conditions. Waterhog makes a number of entrance mats and runners that are another popular option, however these products are made with Polypropylene.
Vestibules. Within these chambers, recessed mats and carpets are very popular items, especially for high end locations in which maintaining existing décor is of paramount importance. Select a material based on traffic; olefin carpet for low traffic, polypropylene/Berber for mid-to-high traffic, and special recessed grill mats for heavy traffic.
Tiled Lobbies. Lobbies are particularly dangerous during the spring, especially for facilities located in areas that experience unpredictable rainfall. Property managers are sometimes hesitant to cover tile floors with mats and runners for fear of disrupting the “feel” of the lobby, however the potential damage caused by a preventable slip and fall accident can be staggering. Don’t take the risk—invest in entrance mats and runners, and choose a color and texture that will augment existing décor. Some mats can be customized with sharp, 3D laser printed logos, which is another option for locations that wish to maintain an upscale look and feel.
Wet Areas. Drainage mats are critical for wet areas, which might include an industrial manufacturing workstation or a food prep area in the kitchen. Any area that experiences frequent liquid spills and/or moisture accumulation is a good candidate for drainage mats.
Find Your Products Today
For more than 30 years, Eagle Mat and Floor Products has been the leading provider of commercial matting and safety products. Locally, Eagle Mat provides on-site consultation, matting sales, and floor mat rental and cleaning services to businesses in the Washington DC Metro Area. Nationwide, all products are available for purchase on Eaglemat.com.
To learn more about commercial floor products and available services, contact Eagle Mat at 1-877-333-1018.