For a project to be successful, flooring must be designed specifically with the individual room requirements in mind. But most of all, it needs to be hygienic, functional, tough, and safe to walk on. That’s because failures, even seemingly insignificant ones, can cause expensive downtime, production losses, product contamination and, in the worst case, accidents.
When designing a floor, there are four key factors to keep in mind to ensure your project is a success.
Food Safety & Hygiene:
Food safety and hygiene have become visible on the radar screens of consumers, industry, regulators and other stakeholders like never before. However, innovations in food manufacturing technology have significantly increased over the past decade. With consumers demanding more nutritious and better tasting food, the industry has responded with a number of new processes and methods for manufacturing.
As food manufacturing facilities offer the perfect conditions for bacteria to grow, It is extremely important that companies do what they can to ensure hygiene standards are being upheld. Flooring must be designed so that it’s easy to clean, and it actively fights against bacteria growth for the lifetime of the floor.
With 86% of total workplace injuries occurring due to slips and falls, with 90% of these happening when the floor is wet, employee safety is one of the most important requirements for any workplace. Slips, trips and falls tend to occur most frequently in areas where meat, fruit, vegetable, fat and other residues are present.
While implementing methods to prevent these residues from falling on the floor in the first place, companies can also select flooring solutions that provide the optimum level of grip, without compromising on cleanability. Obviously, it is important that the correct hygienic shoes and boots are worn, and observing careful working habits.
Resistance Applicable for Intended Use:
There is no one flooring solution that is ideal for every area in every sector of the food manufacturing industry. For each particular area in your facility, ensure that the resistance is applicable for the intended use. For example, if you are designing a slaughter floor, you would need to cater for large equipment being used, as well as heavy hooks accidentally falling on the floor from time to time.
Further detail on this topic can be found in our whitepaper: A Solution for Every Room in the Food Production Facility.
Cleaning and sanitation of floors remains one of the most important tasks in the maintenance schedule. The heavier the slip resistance, the more frequent and vigorous the cleaning will need to be. Additionally, oily floors, for example in a commercial bakery, will require detergent solutions to be applied, agitated and left on the floor for a specific length of time prior to being rinsed and removed, which in turn increases downtime.
High temperature and/or high pressure hose cleaning is another popular method, but not all floor finishes are able to tolerate extreme temperatures or pressure. If aggressive cleaning agents are used instead, they may cause damage to the floor, depending what type it is.