Did you know 86% of total workplace injuries come from slips and falls, and 90% of those happen when the floor is wet? Slip resistance isn’t simply a ‘nice-to-have’, it’s a must.
In the Food and Beverage manufacturing industry, ensuring both employee safety and food safety is crucial. When it comes to flooring, however, balancing these priorities can be tricky. While flooring companies have solutions for many challenges like chemical resistance and heavy traffic, finding the right balance between slip resistance and cleanability isn’t always straightforward. It’s a problem that often leaves them with only a few half-hearted answers.
The issue is that both are equally important to the company, and both have the potential to cost the company thousands if they are compromised on; decreasing the risk of employee injury, increases the risk of cavities for bacterial growth, and vice versa.
With so many workplace injuries arising from slips and falls, with the majority being when the floor is wet, the WHS officer has a strong argument to make that a highly slip resistant floor is essential. And naturally, the higher the slip resistance, the lower the risk of a slip, trip or fall.
But on the flip side of the argument, the higher the slip resistance is, typically the harder the floor is to clean, increasing the potential for bacteria to grow. Bacteria growth on the floor can lead to significant issues with food safety, causing site-wide shutdowns, damaging the company’s reputation, and costing the company thousands every hour that the site is closed.
And there’s no one answer to this argument. Our project consultants make slip resistance recommendations to meet the AS 4586 – 2013 and SA HB 198:2014 slip resistant ratings of P0 – P5 (previously R-Rating), based on your requirements. But in view of increasing the hygiene of the floor, we believe it comes down to two aspects;
- Installation Methods
Installation methods are huge, and widely overlooked when it comes to flooring in the food and beverage manufacturing industry. The blame is typically loaded on the products used, which certainly has some impact, but little compared to the installation methods.
Our unique installation methods have been developed overtime to achieve a very consistent finish, to achieve both hygiene and safety requests.
Installing the floor with even space between the aggregates, so that cleaning equipment can easily dislodge particles is essential. In addition, there are a variety of aggregates that can be used to achieve the slip resistant finish, while allowing the floor to be easily cleaned.
- Materials & Cleaning Methods
As mentioned above, there are different aggregates that can be used to achieve a non-slip finish, whilst allowing the floor to be easy to clean. As well as that, understanding the flooring features is essential for understanding the cleaning methods available for your facility.
Both epoxy applications and polyurethane cement applications can handle much higher temperatures than typically understood. But as for chemical and acid resistance, each system will vary. Take a look at the table below for information on the chemical and acid resistance of our SteriFloor solutions.
Note: SteriFloor Schützend, Stärke, Beschützen and Schnell are all Polyurethane Cement systems, while our SteriFloor Keimfrei and Sauber are Epoxy systems.