Martin Wroe, Commercial Director at Resin Surfaces Ltd, talks about how resin is uniquely placed to meet the challenges of flooring safety in every environment...
'When we talk to our customers about installing a safe flooring system we make them aware of a number of key things.
'The first is about the ability to make a resin-based system completely bespoke to a customer, depending on what sort of commercial environment they operate in.
'This always surprises people, but there is such a wide range of flooring media available to deliver different levels of slip-resistance for example, that a customer can tailor-make to specific requirements.
'The second is to have a very good understanding of what level of slip resistance is needed for your environment and making sure it is easy to clean and maintain.
'Sometimes these things present challenges because a floor that has to be highly slip-resistant eg where there are liquids constantly in use or very high public traffic are often not the easiest to clean.
'So we work with customers to get a happy medium that is fully compliant with industry standards, but does not create a headache for the hygiene and maintenance team.
'For slip resistance there is a wide variety of what we call flooring 'media' to choose from. So we supply systems using kiln dried sand to provide relatively low level slip-resistant flooring, say for little used commercial office space, right up to decorative quartz and then aluminium oxides, which provide maximum resistance and structural strength. These are often used in fork lift trucking aisles or where there are high levels of pedestrian footfall.
'How it works is the more angled the grains the greater the slip-resistance.
'High slip resistance and traction underfoot does not mean you can't do a decorative finish. It is possible to combine use of different aggregates to create a range of finishes from solid single colours to a highly decorative one.
'Of course nowadays every floor needs to meet fairly stringent safety standards and we build bespoke flooring systems which are fully compliant with British Standards.
'So if you are operating in an environment with permanently wet surfaces or considering flooring light traffic factory corridors or having to plan for high footfall surfaces in a modern day sports stadium each will have a set of regulations to satisfy.
According to the Health and Safety Executive slips and trips are the most common cause of injury at work. On average, they cause over a third of all major injuries and over 40% of all reported injuries to members of the public.
'HSE statistics suggest that most of these accidents are slips, most of which happen when floor surfaces are contaminated with things like water, talc or grease.
'This can all be tackled by the appropriate level of slip resistance in the first place and strict hygiene and cleaning regimes.
'It is important that when you have established the flooring system to give you the right anti-slip and maintenance properties that the floor is installed by high quality contractors.
'We work with the top 100 or so contractor companies in the UK - and only those with the necessary proven expertise - to ensure that you get an even flooring profile throughout the surface area.
'The beauty of resin is that it can provide excellent seamless and therefore hygienic finishes with the required slip resistance, but only if it is laid correctly. So make sure flooring installers are fully conversant with your compliance standards and are working closely with the manufacturer to understand your exact needs.
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