Ah, serrated grating. When it’s new and has those sharp, jagged teeth that grip the soles of your work boots and won’t let them slide…

The problem is, this aggressive attitude on the part of the grip doesn’t last. Time and foot traffic reveals the steel teeth to be the softies they really are. Which brings us to an image our customer sent – file name: Slippery.

The stair treads in their machine shop had become a hazard. Employees were slipping due to having oily substances on the bottom of their shoes.

Their research on anti-slip solutions brought them to the website of Safeguard Technology where they submitted a Request for Quote form. There was some initial concern that the grit on the anti-slip step covers might not be “thick enough” to stop the slipping.

Worn grating that has become slippery
File Name: Slippery
Anti-Slip step covers prevent slips and falls
File Name: Safe

Once they received the samples we provided, they realized our product was the right fit for them.

Safeguard® Hi-traction® products use fused alumina – a hard, sharp-edged aggregate that measures 9.4 on the Mohs Hardness Scale. Comparatively, steel, as found in serrated grating, ranks only 4 on the Mohs scale, indicating a soft material that will quickly wear away under foot traffic, leaving your surface more hazardous than ever.

Pre-drilled slotted holes (a Safeguard exclusive) made fastening the step covers over grating fast and easy. After the installation, the stairs were no longer slippery, leading to much safer conditions for the workers. The customer appreciated the clean look of the two-tone covers, and, of course, their effectiveness.

Not sure if our Hi-Traction products will work for you? Request a sample 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.

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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 www.safeguard-technology.com.

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 info@safeguard-technology.com.

*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. 

Many of us are lucky to have relatives living longer than ever before. The population of older Americans is growing and a lot of us find ourselves concerned about their safety. Most older folks want to remain independent but family members worry that each venture on the stairs or walk is a potentially life-threatening activity. Some serious slip-and-fall statistics from the CDC:

  • One in three older adults falls each year
  • Emergency departments treated approximately 2.5 million nonfatal falls in 2013
  • 734,000 of those nonfatal fall victims were admitted to the hospital
  • That year, 25,500 older adults died from unintentional falls
  • More than 250,000 hip fractures are reported every year, and 95 percent of those are from falls

Falls are such a major health risk for the elderly that preventing them should be a priority. Safeguard® Hi-Traction® Anti®-Slip® Covers for steps and walkways are extremely effective, easy to install, and they last a long time. Our premium colors will enhance the décor of any home or residence while providing superior traction even when wet or at an angle like an access ramp.

Check out some of our anti-slip solutions for homes or residential facilities and consider installation of quality anti-slip step and walkway covers to protect your family and guests.

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