Slip and fall accidents are a significant concern for many workplaces where water, oil, liquids, or other debris can quickly turn floors into a hazard. This type of accident is the cause of approximately ⅓ of all workplace accidents and the leading cause of comp time, making them expensive for many businesses in terms of payouts and lost work.
Because of the health risks, OSHA has various guidelines for commercial properties surrounding anti-slip flooring in order to lower the risk of accidents. But any requirements for installing a slip-resistant floor are largely dependent on individual properties or industries rather than requiring specific materials or installation techniques.
Instead, properties are required to have a floor that is slip resistant under the specific conditions the business operates in. For many businesses, this makes epoxy flooring the leading solution for slip resistant flooring, but knowing what the existing standards are for slip resistance, what factors impact it, and how epoxy measures up can help you determine if this is the right flooring product for your business.
How Slip Resistance is Tested
Although there have been efforts in the past to make standards for slip resistance by the ADA and ATSM, the majority of these standards were not reliable in all cases and were nullified. The only current existing standard regarding slip resistant flooring is part of the International Building Code and only requires wet floors to have a Dynamic Coeficient of Friction of 0.42 when wet.
Part of the difficulty in establishing a standard for slip resistance at commercial facilities is that conditions will often vary widely in every individual slip and fall situation. Factors like the slope of the flooring, the exact amount of moisture or sand on the ground, and the natural slickness of your flooring material will all give a surface a different base level of slip resistance. The weight, speed, step width, balance, and direction of the person walking over the surface will further impact slip resistance.
The goal of existing standards and specifications is to help you achieve a floor that offers the right amount of slip resistance for the greatest number of people.
There are testing standards available that describe the slip resistance of epoxy coatings and other flooring types. These testing practices are generally dictated by location and industry, and may consider traction conditions in conditions that are either wet, dry, or both.
Translating your business’s anti-slip needs into coefficients of friction in order to determine what type of flooring you need can be a challenging process, but is a must for any property with a high slip and fall risk. At the same time, over emphasizing slip resistance in your flooring design can leave you with an unnecessarily higher price.
Customizing Epoxy Floors for Slip Resistance Requirements
Epoxy coatings and other resinous floor coatings can meet many of the different slip resistant requirements across industries. Epoxy floors are already highly slip resistant and even when wet, will have a low chance for an accident.
A contractor can increase these capabilities with the addition of aggregates that build texture on the floor, giving you greater friction. Some of the various factors a flooring contractor will consider in order to determine the amount of slip resistance needed in flooring include:
- Types of Traffic – Anywhere that employees or customers are walking requires a certain amount of slip resistance to prevent falls. Anti-slip flooring can also play a role in giving any machinery your business uses traction on slippery surfaces.
- Level or Sloped Surfaces – Because of gravity, a sloped surface naturally has a greater risk for slipping and may require additional slip resistant capabilities.
- Moisture and Debris – The contractor will look at what types of spills or dust buildup may occur inside your property and how frequent and copious spills are to make sure that people walking are protected at all times.
- Additional Factors – You will also look at the types of activity that occur in different areas. If people are moving very quickly or carrying heavy loads while traversing your flooring, there is a greater risk of a slip and fall. This can potentially be balanced out with better anti-slip flooring as long as you and your contractor plan for it during the design phase.
Another benefit to epoxy is that you can customize all the different areas of your property. For a lobby or storage area where moisture is never an issue, standard epoxy will often meet these basic requirements. Meanwhile, you can use epoxy resin with aggregate added to provide traction on a busy production floor, loading ramps, and along the individual pathways that see most of your foot traffic.
Industries Where Epoxy Flooring is the Best Choice for Reducing Slip and Fall Risk
Epoxy flooring provides both an attractive and highly functional flooring option. The slip resistance is only the first aspect of what makes an epoxy concrete floor the right choice for many different facilities.
With specific customizations to meet your commercial property’s need for slip resistance and other functionality, epoxy coated floors work for each of these industries where slip and fall is a more extreme risk:
- Manufacturing Plants
- Auto Shops
- Chemical Laboratories
- Health Care Facilities
- Schools, and More
Choosing the right options for anti slip flooring in Denver, Commerce City, and Aurora begins with having the right flooring contractor. At Colorado Concrete Repair, we not only understand concrete and epoxy, but also the different standards that all of the businesses we work with need to meet. We are dedicated to providing commercial flooring options that you can rely on to be affordable and long lasting, but also to contribute to the productivity and success of your business. Schedule a consultation with Colorado concrete to discuss anti-slip flooring at your property.