Using the wrong type of safety flooring can leave you at risk. David Cockhead, Altro’s Quality and Compliance Advisor, gives a handy guide to what to use where.
Safety flooring with sustained slip resistance of Pendulum Test Value (PTV) 36 or above reduces the risk of slipping to one in a million and keeps it that way over time. However, different types of safety flooring provide different levels of slip resistance in different environments, so choosing sustained slip resistance is actually just one element of fulfilling your duty to choose flooring that does not put people’s safety at risk.
Where to start
In many areas that require safety flooring, a high quality 2mm safety flooring will do the job. Remember to look for slip resistance of at least PTV 36, and to ask questions about how long that lasts. Sustained slip resistance for the lifetime of the flooring is the only way to maintain that one in a million slip risk figure.
Look for long warranties, low maintenance and excellent durability along with a wide range of colour options and you should be on the right track for safety flooring for busy, public areas.
Style and substance
When aesthetics matter as much as durability and sustained slip resistance, turn to safety flooring ranges with wow factor. Whether it’s a wide range of colours, a natural wood-look or non-sparkle finish, there are options for everybody, including specific dementia or healthcare needs.
Heavy duty safety flooring is 2.5mm thick – that extra 0.5mm delivers an extra 25% of protection. Excellent resistance to mechanical and physical damage and long-term replacement costs make heavy duty ranges firm favourites in demanding environments such as education, healthcare and industry.
Look for flooring that’s highly durable and resistant to moisture, temperature extremes, point loading, wheeled traffic, most chemicals and physical or mechanical damage. These are perfect for corridors, secondary school labs and clinical areas as well as public walkways that need to look good and work hard in a variety of conditions.
Tough as old boots…and new boots, steel toe-capped work boots and studded football boots – for the toughest environments look for 4mm robust safety flooring that maintains its integrity even when punctured by studs or spikes. It will be well suited to heavy duty industrial use and sports changing rooms.
Can’t stand the heat?
Commercial kitchens, canteens and food preparation areas are a different kettle of fish. Water underfoot is treacherous enough – add grease, oils and fats, and you’ve got a dangerous environment. You’ll need to up the slip resistance significantly to at least TRRL 55 / R12 to make sure you have flooring that will help catering staff do their job safely. Increase the thickness too – 3mm safety flooring will provide noise reduction and comfort underfoot. Check out our latest ‘real world’ tests using a variety of common kitchen contaminants to see why specialist safety flooring for kitchens is a must. Visit http://www.altro.ie/Commercial-kitchens to learn more.
For shower cubicles, studded safety flooring keeps barefoot and soft-soled shoe wearers safe. For other potentially wet areas where people could be barefoot or wearing any type of shoe, look for specialist safety flooring designed to be used in wet and dry locations including bathrooms, shower and changing areas, healthcare, leisure and social housing.
Green, clean and quick
Every project has to balance a range of criteria. When sustainability is at the top of the bill, look to versatile looselay safety flooring – recyclable, reusable and adhesive-free. With no DPM or adhesive needed, looselay safety flooring can also save time, money and hassle on installation.
Altro’s Technical Team are always on hand to offer information and guidance, and you might just pick up some new tricks and tips along the way.