February 12, 2018
By Mitchell Bryant
No matter what your facility specializes in, it is crucial that the environment is equipped with a flooring solution geared toward safety. After all, your guests, patients, students and staff deserve the peace of mind in knowing that their well-being is taken seriously. While no flooring option can 100 percent ensure that slips and falls will never occur, choosing a non-slip flooring solution will go a long way in minimizing that risk. Here’s a look at the best slip-resistant flooring options for some common types of buildings.
Slips and falls are a significant and common safety issue. We’ve all been there — simply walking along the hallways at work or even the local supermarket, when all of sudden we lose our footing and begin the fight to stay upright. Not only is this an embarrassing and frightening experience, but it is also one that is quite unnerving from a statistical perspective. In the United States in 2014, 4,679 fatal work injuries were reported according to the Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries conducted by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Slips, trips, and falls accounted for 793 of the 4,679 fatalities. With numbers like these, it is easy to see why choosing non-slip flooring is paramount to helping eradicate these staggering numbers.
Healthcare. Due to polished tiles and liquid spills, healthcare flooring can often become slippery. While these environments can be hectic and extremely busy, choosing a flooring solution that is slip resistant, extremely durable, and easy to maintain is critical to facility success. Rubber and luxury vinyl tile are two popular options that are capable of meeting these performance requirements. Rubber is designed with a focus on traction, while also being soft underfoot and sound absorbent. Luxury vinyl tile, on the other hand, is tough, easy to clean, and resistant to skidding, making it a great option for those installations that require a hard surface material.
Education and corporate. When it comes to market segments such as education and corporate, implementing a flooring that is geared toward safety and quiet are of most importance. In these environments, students and employees alike must be protected from falls and noisy disruptions of concentration. Using a flooring material such as carpet or carpet tiles can help meet these needs. Carpet is naturally slip-resistant, yet soft enough to cushion falls when they do occur. Carpet is also naturally sound absorbing and can block out unwanted noises such as heavy foot traffic.
Industrial and retail. For industrial and retail environments, flooring must not only be slip-resistant, but it must also be durable enough to resist heavy forklift traffic, tire marks, abrasions, oil, fuel, chemicals, road salt, and other contaminants. Therefore, it is wise to choose a flooring solution such as epoxy resin which is designed to face these strenuous demands. Epoxy resin flooring uses floor coatings to create a long-lasting, aesthetically pleasing, cost-effective concrete surfaces. Epoxy resin also enhances facilities, accommodating versatile design customizations, such as corporate logos for branding and aisle ways for wayfinding and traffic flow. In addition, epoxy resin offers easy maintenance, thermal shock resistance, and rapid flooring implementation for minimal downtime.
Mitchell Bryant is the communications specialist at Spectra Contract Flooring, the largest commercial flooring contractor in the United States.