Trips, slips and falls from a walkway are a “thorn in the side” in the series of accidents at work, in the home and in free time.
At the origin of a “false step” lies the carelessness of those who walk, the type of flooring, the poor cleaning of the walking surface or the type of footwear worn floor slip testing.
Very frequently what is missing from the beginning is a careful evaluation and an adequate design of the subject surfaces of the most frequent human activity: walking on the flat .
The risk of falling on the flat? A problem that is too often underestimated
The risk of falling on a flat surface and the slipperiness of floors are two factors that must never be underestimated in the design, construction and throughout the life cycle of a floor.
The (delicate) problem of the slipperiness of pavements
The slipperiness is a technical characteristic of the flooring should not be underestimated, this for any type of material used as a coating horizontal surfaces subject to foot traffic. As already mentioned, it is essential to carefully choose the flooring according to the intended end use, to carry out a correct cleaning and maintenance of the walking surface and to design the path according to safe accessibility.
For this reason the reflection proposed here is aimed at all the professional figures involved in various capacities in the project and in the use of the flooring such as:
- Commercial flooring operators;
- Security managers;
- Property managers;
- Cleaning companies;
It’s not always the fault of a banana peel !!
The factors to consider when assessing the risk
The causes of tripping, slipping or falling on a flat surface can be many and there are many factors to consider in the risk assessment phase .
Technical factors that depend on the characteristics of the flooring
There are technical factors that depend on the characteristics of the flooring and that affect the risk of falling on the floor.
Among these, for example, the surface texture of the floor which can present different levels of roughness. A micro roughness of the surface (the one not visible to the naked eye), typical of extremely smooth floors, increases the risk of slipping by up to 25% due to the deposition of dust. On the other hand, a macro roughness affects the friction coefficient as it determines a reduction of the contact surface between the sole of the worn shoe and the floor.
The ageof a floor, i.e. the combination of the time elapsed since installation and the intensity of use to which it was subjected, is an important factor that implies a re-verification of the anti-slip performance and / or the loss of compactness of the surface layer of trampling.