The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) celebrated its 32nd birthday on July 26. It was signed into law in 1990, and the 1991 Standards for Accessible Design were most recently updated in 2010 (they became effective in March of 2012). The ADA prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities in several areas, including employment, transportation, public accommodations, communications, and access to state and local government programs and services. The purpose of the law is to ensure that people with disabilities have the same opportunities and access as everyone else.
It states that public accommodations — which include businesses that are generally open to the public, such as public schools, restaurants, and recreation facilities, in addition to commercial facilities like privately owned, non-residential buildings such as offices, factories, and warehouses — must comply with ADA standards.
Among the compliance requirements are safe access and egress. “Ground and floor surfaces along accessible routes and in accessible rooms and spaces, including floors, walks, ramps, stairs, and curb ramps — shall be stable, firm, and slip-resistant” (per 4.5.1 of the 1991 Standards and section 302.1 of the 2010 Standards).
Because the cost of noncompliance is steep — and can include penalties from federal lawsuits, court orders requiring ADA compliance by a certain deadline, and additional compensation to the affected individual — Safeguard Technology works with clients to provide anti-slip solutions that are durable, long-lasting, and specifically designed for each application.
Located in Streetsboro, Ohio, we’ve been offering custom anti-slip solutions that are made in the U.S.A. for 30 years — almost as long as ADA has been law. Focusing on school districts and higher education facilities as examples, learn how we can help your business or school meet ADA compliance standards.
Safeguard Anti-Slip Products for ADA Compliance
Safeguard provides safer, non-slip walkways, steps, and ramps that are key to achieving or maintaining ADA compliance. Our walkway covers are ideal for ramps and entrances, while our step covers are the perfect solution for cane use, limited mobility, and conditions with balance issues. Our Heat-Traction™ covers help anyone dealing with ice and snow hazards. We supply all industries with solutions for both indoor and outdoor applications.
Schools and universities are heavy-traffic environments that require durable solutions. Instead of using anti-slip tape on wheelchair-only or dual-purpose ramps — which may only last days or weeks in a high-traffic school and requires ample time and labor to scrape up and replace — our fiberglass or steel gritted covers last 10-plus years and result in minimal downtime. Blocked access to ramps is largely avoided since Safeguard products arrive with pre-drilled holes and appropriate fasteners. All installers need to do is clean, prep, and screw in the new anti-slip sheets.
Our step covers benefit a large portion of your facility’s guests, from toddlers to the elderly, as well as those with various mobility issues and medical needs. In addition to the aforementioned shortcomings of anti-slip tape, tape is simply not designed for optimal safety or longevity on steps. Our custom covers, on the other hand, wrap down to cover the step’s nose/leading edge (where most slips occur) and are custom-cut to cover the proper tread depth to eliminate slip hazards.
Step covers arrive pre-cut and pre-drilled, with proper fasteners, so they’re ready to easily install over existing steps.
Our heated walkway and step covers help schools avoid shoveling and eliminate the use of corrosive salts, which are pebbled-shaped and can cause accidents. With the ability to cover all different types of substrates, an electrically powered pad under the anti-slip cover emits heat to keep snow and ice from building up. Heating elements plug into a standard 120V outlet and can stand alone or connect together. Unlike some chemicals, they work in all temperatures and melt snow at a rate of two inches per hour.
Creating Custom Solutions
At Safeguard, our team of experts stands ready to help you get the most out of your anti-slip investment. Safeguard manufactures anti-slip covers for ADA-compliant ramps, walkways, and steps, as well as pipe and cable covers and ladder rung covers for safe rooftop access. With a variety of cover base materials, six different surface textures of grit, more than 30 colors (including glow-in-the-dark and patterns), and installation options, we can provide a custom solution that will meet the needs of your school or business. Safeguard anti-slip covers reduce accidents and protect your substrate from weather and wear.
For educational facilities, our on-site waterjet cutter and array of colors allow for custom cutouts, patterns, and logos using school colors. We can create custom messaging and symbols, including wheelchair logos, directional arrows, creative footprints/mascot pawprint shapes/images, and more, that show accessibility routes as well as general and social distancing paths.
During the sales process, we gather all of the information needed to create the right anti-slip product for the job, including:
- The type of structure (wood board or sheets, concrete, steel plate or grating, etc.)
- The condition and flatness of the surface or ramp
- Whether full coverage or a thinner path is desired
- The slope of the ramp and if there are any landings, as required by ADA to address steepness
- The environment, lighting, and exposure to the elements
- The type of use (type of footwear, amount of foot traffic, etc.)
- The overall budget for the project
Anti-Slip Success Stories at Schools
Safeguard anti-slip solutions help all students, faculty, and pedestrians, including those using canes, wheelchairs, crutches, and braces. We offer safety for major and minor impairments and long-term conditions, as well as temporary ones, such as pregnancy and post-medical procedure rehabilitation.
Here are a couple of examples that show how Safeguard has helped schools meet various ADA, Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), and International Building Code (IBC) compliance measures in recent years:
- For one college in Massachusetts, we provided a solution for an accessible path connecting two buildings. The college needed an anti-slip, outdoor path for general use to assist with social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic, but required one that was also ADA-compliant. The Safeguard solution was our heavyweight Mat-Traction™ anti-slip mats, which have a durable ¾-inch thick recycled rubber base with our customizable Hi-Traction® anti-slip surface. Custom-cut, interlocking tile edges allowed the college to connect several tiles together and create a long path between buildings. This same solution worked for a residential backyard ADA application in a western state.
- Safeguard is currently working with a large school district that was notified of noncompliance concerning a ladder violation. After supplying a couple of small orders to test fit, their facilities manager determined the best solution to was to cover all of the ladders in the district’s 400-plus schools with the same OSHA-compliant, long-term, anti-slip solution: Safeguard ladder rung covers.
As you prepare for the August/fall reopening of your school district or higher education facility, it’s important to have safe ADA access in place. Let Safeguard assist you in finding custom, durable, low-maintenance solutions that will help you achieve ADA compliance while delivering high safety standards for your students, visitors, and staff.