Slips, trips, and falls are all too common, especially in public or workplaces. Sadly, if it’s on your premises, you can be liable for a personal injury compensation claim. It’s even more upsetting if a person is seriously injured and a business has to deal with the aftermath, especially if there is a slight notion of negligence.
Tripping and falling on slippery or uneven surfaces is something you want to avoid at all costs. According to HSE, “over 40% of all reported injuries involve members of the public” and that most of these incidents happen on ‘contaminated floors’. Wet decking, loose boards, protruding nails and splintered wood are all considerable risks to the general public.
Bar and restaurant owners; authorities in charge of schools, care homes or communal areas must consider this when procuring decking boards for outdoor use. That’s because a high number of falls occur on wet or uneven surfaces outdoors, which can catch the public, young children or the elderly off guard. It is the reason why Ecoscape developed the Clarity Composite Decking Board, which is independently BS 7976-2:2002 tested.
WHAT IS BS 7976-2:2002?
According to Grip Potential, it is a British Standards (BS) set of guidelines that uses a pendulum test (which copies the actions of a slipping foot) to determine the slipperiness of any flooring. It sweeps across the floor in a controlled manner when wet and is the only assessment method preferred by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and the UK Slip Resistance Group.
CLARITY IS BS APPROVED SLIP RESISTANT
Timber decking and some composite decking are notorious for creating a slippery surface when wet. Smooth decking boards do not provide a rough surface for grip, and if the surface is uneven, will create pools of stagnant water that take longer to dry. Timber decking boards weather over a short period when not maintained, leaving mildew and algae deposits to create a slippery layer. Then there is the risk of any wet leaves falling onto the surface, offering an additional and unwelcome hazard.
However, the Clarity range from our collection is proven to be non-slip in both wet and dry conditions which makes them an ideal procurement choice for schools, hotels, restaurants and offices with pedestrian areas within the grounds. Of course, regular and intensive maintenance of timber decked areas will help to avoid such slips.
However, guidelines recommend:
- Frequent brushing with a stiff broom to remove mildew and algae build up
- Immediately remove fallen leaves
- Seasonally perform a low-level power wash (but beware of the splinters and damage this may cause)
That’s an awful lot of maintenance for a public space!
CLARITY IS LOW MAINTENANCE
Thankfully, the Ecoscape Clarity Composite Decking Board, which is a wood plastic composite, also delivers minimal maintenance. There is no need to paint, stain or seal, nor will the decking rot, warp or splinter like traditional timber boards. Regular washing with a hose and brush to remove debris and seasonal deep cleans is the only maintenance required.
CLARITY HAS INVISIBLE FIXINGS
The other trip and fall risk is uneven surfaces. Under maintained timber decking can soon become uneven, especially if some boards warp and rot. Then there is the risk of splinters, which can cause even more unnecessary damage if a pedestrian was to fall. Clarity decking boards are very easy to install and use invisible fixing systems that will not suddenly appear and cause risk.
CLARITY IS AN EXCELLENT ALTERNATIVE TO TIMBER
Clarity is FSC® certified and uses recycled plastic to form the wood plastic composite decking boards. It has a natural aesthetic design with natural wood colours or contemporary greys and blacks as suitable options. Moreover, finally, Clarity comes with an extensive 20-year warranty.
WHAT THE HSE SAY…
Here is a quick lowdown of what HSE expects in terms of slip resistance. The guidelines are particularly useful to read for businesses or public authorities looking to use decking within an outdoor space. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has a useful technical information sheet on slip-resistant flooring.
The HSE Slip Potential Model includes several factors;
- Floor Material
One of the significant measures that HSE deems essential is the specification of appropriate flooring. Outdoor flooring that is often wet must have sufficient grip. Our Clarity composite decking boards are dual sided. One profile is similar to a traditional decking board, and the other has a closer profile, which is ideal for high traffic areas. Please check out our low-maintenance composite decking range in detail for more information on its benefits.
We have an article on the differences between Clarity and Forma decking for those who wish to learn more, decide on the best choice for your project!