Slip-and-fall accidents are a leading cause of injury at aquatic facilities. Identifying the safety hazards in an article published in Pool & Spa Marketing magazine, PEM Surface Creations’ vice-president Rob Amelung shares information on slip-resistant flooring and its importance.
Safety is a top priority at aquatic facilities, especially in high traffic and wet areas which increases the risk of slip-and-fall accidents. Because of the economic climate, many facilities are facing budget cuts, meaning that slip-resistant surfaces can be a cost-effective solution.
When selecting a slip-resistant surface, there are many factors to consider, including its location, slip-resistant properties, installation process, physical properties, maintenance, safety and comfort.
Slip-resistant properties – To ensure a surface is slip-resistant, a third party evaluation is needed. Slip-resistant characteristics are graded using a coefficient of friction (COF) scalar value. Tests should be performed on wet and dry surfaces using a variety of footwear (e.g. tennis shoes, grooved neolite and bare feet).
Installation process – Installing a slip-resistant surface is critical to its effectiveness. Determining how to relax your flooring and understanding the adhesives will alter the installation time, longevity and effectiveness of the surface.
Physical properties – Because of where slip-resistant flooring is often installed, it is subjected to elements such as chemicals, extreme heat, wind uplift and mold/mildew growth, which will affect the life of the slip-resistant surface.
Maintenance – To maximize the life of slip-resistant flooring regular maintenance along with proper procedures are required. That includes inspecting edges and using acceptable cleaning products and tools.
Safety and comfort – Providing a safety surface for areas with high barefoot traffic, slip-resistant surfaces should be comfortable to people of all ages. It should also protect bare feet from splinters and hot surfaces.
For a more complete explanation of slip-resistant surfaces, read Rob’s article in Pool & Spa Marketing.