Floor Coatings Mixed with Anti-Slip Additives
Fluid-applied floor coatings, such as epoxies and urethanes, can be used to create beautifully smooth finishes. However, installing a smooth system in an improper area can result in poor traction and slip-and-fall hazards for people working or visiting the area. Slippery floors can be equally problematic for vehicles, which can sometimes skid on high-gloss surfaces in commercial facilities.
Lack of traction can be especially dangerous in entryways and lobbies, where pedestrians track in rain and snow from the inclement weather, increasing risk of a slip and fall accident. Within commercial facilities, spills of chemicals, liquids, oils, or grease can pose similar problems.
Grit or anti-slip additives can be broadcast into virtually any floor coating system to help create a safer walking surface and thus help reduce the risk of slip and fall incidents.
What Level of Slip Resistance is Best?
There are many different methods of measuring slip resistance -- also known as testing for Coefficient of Friction (COF) -- in use today around the world. The Horizontal Dynamometer Pull-Meter Test, ASTM C-1028, is one of the most commonly used in the United States. However, most experts agree that each of the currently available methods have certain flaws when applied to real life situations. At the core of the problem are the nearly unlimited variables involved in an individual simply walking across a floor.
Consider the influences of the flooring material and surface texture, in addition to the physics of a given pedestrian’s unique gait, walking rhythm and speed, balance, physical strength and keenness of vision, body weight, footwear materials and texture. Try to combine these with environmental influences, such as room illumination, spilled liquids of various viscosities and composition, or the presence of scattered particles or fine powders on the floor, and the dilemma of agreeing on a meaningful test method becomes clear. As a result, despite rumors to the contrary, there is no clear slip resistance requirement or regulation in place in the U.S. to date.
Until science can settle upon an appropriate test method, managers must do what they can to help prevent slip-and-fall events amongst employees and visitors. The professionals at Tennant Coatings can help. Because the level of slip-inhibiting aggregate used in our coatings is fully adjustable, certified Tennant contractors can install the texture your facility prefers. In locations of concern, slip-resistant trial areas can be installed, subjected to normal traffic, and evaluated by users. The selected surface texture can then be used as the standard for subsequent flooring installation throughout the area. In the absence of official slip-resistance regulations, this option can be an ideal solution.