The floor you walk on can be dangerous when wet. If you are not cautious enough, you can easily slip, trip and get injured. Slips and falls are very common accidents that can lead to serious injuries and even death. As a property owner, you wouldn’t want misfortunes like these to take place in your home or establishment.
Fortunately, accidents can be avoided if you know what to do. There are several steps you can take, however, how you treat your floors or what solution you use depends on the severity of the slip hazard. For a start, you can conduct a slip test in areas with high foot traffic to get an idea of which solution would work best.
Here are useful measures you can take to increase your floor’s grip and improve its traction:
1. Texture the concrete.
One method that can create texture in concrete is a broom finish. This technique is commonly used by concrete finishers to make skid-resistant surfaces. Brooming can be done when the concrete is partially dry or soft enough to be shaped. If the concrete is intended to drain, the marks should be made in the direction towards the drain. Concrete brooms with different configurations are now available for this purpose but a standard broom with stiff bristles can be used.
2. Apply anti-slip coating.
A wide range of anti-slip coatings are available in the market today. These products are clear, water-based coatings that can effectively create skid-resistant floors. They can be used on concrete, steel, vinyl, metal, glass, marble, granite, ceramic and brick. They are excellent for indoor (kitchens, bathrooms, wash areas and locker rooms) and outdoor (pool decks, walkways and driveways) use. Be careful though as adding texture, can detract the appearance of the treated surface and be harder to clean.
3. Combine grit additives with sealers.
Sealers provide a layer of protection to concrete floors. They can also make floor surfaces skid resistant with the addition of grit additives that measurably increase their grip. Silica and other minerals have been used for this purpose, however there are also alternative forms of clear crystals and plastic grit. This combination can be applied to wet areas and those with heavy foot traffic. The coatings can also increase the difficulty in cleaning an dthe adhesive properties of the sealers must be checked.
4. Use nonslip tapes.
Nonslip tapes have abrasive particles bonded to one side, making the surface very coarse, similar to that of sandpaper. They are suited for smaller areas like staircases, ramps and footing surfaces of vehicles but they can also be used on decks and floors. These types of tapes come in various sizes and levels of coarseness depending on the specific applications for which they are intended. Surfaces applied with these tapes can have better traction and can help prevent falls. The adehesion of the tapes should be checked regularly to ensure that they are effective
5. Install rubber mats.
Rubber mats make an excellent temporary solution for slip hazards. They can be easily removed when a more suitable solution is available. Rubber mats vary in surface design: some are plain smooth while others have textured or raised surface designs. The surface patterns allow better grip and traction when wet, making them a great option for bathrooms, basements and children’s play areas.
To make sure your floors are safe, you can get slip resistance testing done. This is one way to assess floor safety and determine the necessary measures you can take to keep the premises safe for everyone.
For reliable independent slip testing services, contact Slip Check. Whether you need your tiles rated or a test report for your floors, we are the experts for the job. With our expertise in the field, we can conduct reliable tests following Australian standards and provide reports for all your purposes. Give us a call today!
Author: Carl Strautins
As a principle at Safe Environments, Carl Strautins first started his career at CSIRO conducting research in slip resistance and developed the accelerated wear slip resistance test. He holds a degree in materials science, masters in occupational health and safety and a masters in science in occupational hygiene, Carl provides guidance to industry to minimise the risk of slip and fall incidents. He is engaged on a regular basis to provide expert opinion for disputes and legal proceedings.