Manuel shifted on the sofa, trying to get comfortable. The post-surgery brace on his knee restricted his movement, reducing any chance of relaxing to zero. With daytime TV reducing his brain to mush, he wondered if he would ever get back to his energetic, optimistic, pre-slip condition.

A crane operator at the aluminum extruding plant for four years, Manuel had been a reliable and punctual worker. He enjoyed the fast pace and teamwork in the plant. He and his coworkers relied on each other’s skill and timing to keep the flow of production moving without incident.

Manuel sometimes subbed for the floor lead and his supervisor encouraged him to take steps toward advancing his career. He cross-trained at every opportunity so he could one day move up to a supervisor position.

The day of the accident, Manuel was filling in for the material handler’s lunch break. When the overhead crane froze, he had to go up to the cockpit as he had hundreds of times before. He easily climbed the access ladder and rebooted the machine. It was on the way back down that his foot slipped off the rung. Manuel caught himself in time to avoid falling to the ground, but cried out in pain as his knee struck hard on the lower rung.
Safeguard Hi-Traction® anti-slip ladder rung covers stop slips that can lead to serious injury
Safeguard Hi-Traction® anti-slip ladder rung covers stop slips that can lead to serious injury

Manuel slid down the ladder to the ground. As his coworkers surrounded him, he gingerly tried to walk. Two coworkers helped to support him as he limped to the office. They applied ice to his knee and called the supervisor to report the accident. Manuel was taken to the local emergency room for treatment.

An MRI showed that Manuel had shattered his kneecap and damaged ligaments in his knee as well. Surgery would be required to rebuild the patella. The time needed for recovery and rehabilitation could be anywhere from 6 months to one year. And the cost for medical treatment alone would amount to more than $40,000.

With all the training on safe practices and warnings about dangers present in his workplace, Manuel never thought he would be taken down by a slip-and-fall injury. Even companies who take safety seriously sometimes overlook the very real danger that slick surfaces pose. The good news is that slips can be prevented without a lot of expense or disruption to production schedules. For example, anti-slip ladder rung covers can be installed on fixed ladders to protect the workers that need to use them.

Workers like Manuel are worth protecting. Get started today.

Safeguard-university-steps-2    Safeguard-university-steps-1

The large volume of traffic in and out of schools and universities every day increases the potential risk of slips-and-falls for students and staff. From a small elementary school to the largest university in the country, slips and trips can occur anywhere and anytime. Slip and fall prevention at schools begins with officials, architects, and facility managers being diligent with protecting students and staff from harm.


Automotive manufacturing plants can be tricky environments. Workers in one area can track oily fluids on their boots to another area, leading to virtually any place in the plant becoming slippery. At a leading manufacturer’s Midwestern casting plant, that area was near a conveyor belt. There were some close calls that could have resulted in serious injuries. Then, a worker did slip and fall and management took action. 
Safeguard® Hi-Traction® covers eliminated the slip risk on the steps and the landing area under the steps
First, they tried non-slip floor paint but that quickly wore off. Next, anti-slip tape was applied but it became a tripping hazard when it started to peel up. This location needed an effective and permanent solution.
Fortunately, an industrial consultant who worked with the plant’s staff knew about Safeguard Technology’s Hi-Traction® anti-slip covers for steps and walkways. They requested samples of Pultruded Fiberglass (FRP) covers.

“As soon as they received the samples, they were very confident that this product was the right fit,” the consultant said. They also liked working with a supplier that had experience in the auto industry and who had seen this type of situation before.


Drawings were made of the areas that needed anti-slip covers and the manufacturer set to work making covers to fit the steps and the landing area below. The customer decided on black covers with Glo-Yellow edging that would draw attention to the leading edges, even in the event of a power outage. Coarse Industrial grit was determined to be the right fit, considering the amount of cutting fluid in the area.
Safeguard® HiGlo-Traction® covers eliminated the slip risk on the steps and the landing area under the steps, reducing overall lost time injuries at the plant.

What problem areas do you have that could benefit from specialized anti-slip treatment? Safeguard has over 25 years of proven anti-slip performance in the most challenging environments on the planet. We have a solution for you.

The CDC’s National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health and our own state’s Ohio Bureau of Worker’s Compensation joined forces to develop some really cool interactive charts. They show worker injury trends in Ohio over a 10-year span. It’s no surprise that the Diagnosis by Cause chart has Slips, Trips, and Falls in a category all by itself. Click on the Number of Claims (285,592!) to see the resulting diagnoses.

Worker injury chart showing slips, trips, and falls
CDC and Ohio BWC team up to produce interactive worker injury charts

Troy Weber’s phone rang in the early morning hours. When he saw the caller ID, his heart began to pound. After three years as Fleet Manager, he knew what the message would be: another injury, most likely to a driver. He hoped he was wrong or at least that it was not serious, but his mind was already racing over how he’d be able to manage the routes with a driver down.

Failed attempts

It seemed like the accidents, especially the slips-and-falls, should be preventable, but extra training on ‘three points of contact’ had not solved the problem. Even adding grab-handles to the cab seemed like a good idea, but that had actually added arm and shoulder injuries to some of the slip-and-fall cases. He had to stop drivers from getting hurt on the job.

This time

Joe, a long-time employee, had gotten hurt. His foot slipped exiting the cab and he twisted his ankle hard enough to tear a ligament. He would be out of work for a minimum of three months. Troy felt terrible because Joe was a hard worker who always followed safety precautions.

A common occurrence

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, “truck drivers have the highest number of nonfatal injuries and illnesses that require days off from work across all occupations (a total of 55,710 injuries in 2014). In fact, tractor-trailer truck drivers are three times more likely than the typical American worker to have an injury or illness that requires days off from work. The injuries that are most likely to cause them to miss work result from slips, trips and falls.”1

A closer look

A closer look at the fleet’s truck steps showed extremely steep metal steps that are difficult for even the most fit drivers to navigate. They are perforated to allow for water and ice to pass through. But the serrated steel had worn down since the drivers may enter and exit the trucks up to fifty times a day. Worse, this type of step had no slip-resistant material at the leading edge of the step, where slips most often occur. The foot of a driver descending the steps would hit that edge and, without any added traction on the radius, would slip.

Safeguard Hi-Traction steps stop slips, trips, and falls for truckers
Without proper precautions, exiting a truck can prove to be very dangerous

Eliminate the hazard

Troy knew that the most effective controls involve elimination of the hazards. Luckily, he figured out that an anti-slip surface bonded to the truck steps could prevent this particular type of injury in the future. Better still, he discovered a similar solution could apply to ladders, running boards, and ramps – most any surface that becomes slippery and likely to cause slips-and-falls.

Government statistics show that truck drivers are especially prone to slip-and-fall injuries. After Troy consulted with Erick Schuetz at Safeguard Technology, he confidently set a plan in motion to protect his drivers.

Read the statistics on trucker injuries for yourself– and take steps to prevent injuries on your own vehicles.

See the data

Slip-and-fall prevention begins at the design phase

Parking garages exist to make the best use of available space and to protect users from outdoor elements. Especially in cold climates like the northern US, a parking structure should allow people to avoid ice and snow in the winter months while walking from their cars to their destination.

The problem with these structures is that most have an open-sided design that allows snow and rain to get inside and collect on walkways and stairs, leading to a risky situation for slip-and-fall accidents. But a well-informed architect can easily design buildings with better safety results right from the start.

Battling the Elements

Riverside Parking Ramp was designed by the architects at HSR Associates, Inc. in La Crosse, WI. The specification called for checkered plate steel steps and landings. Since checkered plate steel has a very low Coefficient of Friction (COF)*, especially in harsh weather, the designer knew that anti-slip treatment would be needed to protect users of the garage from slips-and-falls. Safeguard® Hi-Traction® anti-slip direct gritting was the perfect solution.

A Better Way

Coatings applied on-site typically use sand to provide traction but this wears off quickly. Repeated applications are needed and this means downtime for the facility. Safeguard’s proprietary antislip surface uses fused alumina, one of the hardest substances around. This creates hard, sharp edges that grip footwear and last for a very long time.

In order to be sure that Safeguard’s antislip surface provides a long term solution, it is applied in a controlled environment. For the initial construction of the Riverside building, 256 pieces of steel – steps and landings – were sent to Streetsboro, Ohio for direct gritting. The team at Safeguard was able to receive the large, heavy pieces and manipulate them in the factory to apply the coating.

Specify Safety

The architect specified that a 3-inch-wide, non-slip area with aluminum oxide (fused alumina) grit be bonded to the nosing of the stair treads. The grit was specified to be #24 mesh, suitable for commercial and pedestrian applications and to be applied to a minimum thickness of .10 inches. The color was to be contrasting to tread, selected by A/E from the standard line. Most importantly, the spec said the product must be comparable to Direct Gritting from Safeguard Technology as on

Continued Success

The second phase of the Riverside Parking Ramp added two stories above the existing building and again Safeguard was contacted to make sure that the steps and landings had the dependable anti-slip that the architect had in mind. Another new parking garage was completed in 2017 with 220 steel plates coated.

Strong specifications ensure that architects and designers get the quality needed for their projects to be successful. Collaboration between designers, contractors, and manufacturers ensures that parts have their intended form, function, and safety. Facility owners can rest assured that they are running a safe operation. Manufacturers breathe easy knowing their products are as safe as possible.

Not all surfaces are optimal for direct gritting. To find out if Safeguard’s Direct Gritting is a solution for the anti-slip safety of your product, call 800-989-1695 or email

*Coefficient of friction (COF) is a value that shows the force of friction between two objects, in this case, the floor/steps and the people’s footwear. A low number means very little friction, so slips-and-falls are very likely. 

ABS, the American Club and Lamar University join to stop slips-and-falls

What a great initiative! Let’s work together to keep mariners safe

Joint Initiative Tackles Common Causes of Maritime Accidents

ABS, the American Club and Lamar University are launching a new initiative aimed at reducing maritime-related safety incidents. The initial focus of the partnership’s analysis and industry guidance will be on slips, trips and falls, a significant cause of maritime injuries. Read the full article.


So many aspects of ladder safety to focus on for Ladder Safety Month … there are over 130,000 emergency room visits each year due to ladder-related injuries according to The American Ladder Institute. We believe that you can help reduce that number simply by installing Safeguard’s Hi-Traction Anti-Slip Ladder Rung Covers on fixed ladders, especially in environments with water, oil, or dust making things slippery.

Celebrate Ladder Safety Month – request a sample cover today!

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