It’s that time of year again. The clocks go back on Sunday morning meaning there’s the upside of an extra hour in bed (unless you’re working the night shift!) but the downside of shorter days and longer nights to come.
Less daylight means lower temperatures, so it’s a good time to refocus on safety in the workplace with employees facing darker car parks at day’s end and outdoor workers operating in lower lit and colder areas.
Time, then, to see how we can help you get equipped for these seasonal changes.
How Not to Trip Up When the Lights Go Down
Each year thousands of slips and trips occur in public spaces and the workplace, many resulting in serious injuries. They can become more of a concern on external steps and stairways during the winter months, especially with potential environment hazards caused by low light, rain and ice.
Internal stairs can also be dangerous when lighting is insufficient and steps are difficult to see.
Check that your lighting is sufficient to see step edges clearly. The edge of each step must be visible to determine where the foot will be placed on each step. This can be highlighted with a highly visible colour contrast on the edge of the step surface.
Make sure that flooring has an abrasive (rough) surface which is adequate to prevent slipping when it is wet or icy. It is also advisable to use grit on slippery or frosty steps and stairways.
Specialist matting can be used in areas with oil, water or chemical spillage – giving underfoot support along with the additional benefit of delaying fatigue for those in standing occupations. Mats are designed to conform to slip resistance tests whilst various textures and components are used for stimulating blood circulation, reducing trip hazards and drainage for spilt liquids.
Stair nosing helps to prevent slips on stairs. It is the horizontal, protruding edge of a stair where most foot traffic frequently occurs. The very edge of the step is highlighted when nosing has high visibility, a square edge and non-slip finish. Check if your stair nosing is hard to see, rounded, damaged or slippery.
Do the same check for stair treads. The difference between nosing and treads is the stair treads cover the entire step area, overlapping the edge onto the riser which acts as a stair protector, while stair nosing is a smaller profile designed to neatly fit on the edge of the step.
At Lyreco, we supply floor mats, stair nosing and stair treads that are manufactured by COBA Flooring – a UK specialist in commercial flooring solutions.
Our lighting range includes site safety solutions by Skipper – a market leader and the choice of many health and safety professionals across the world. We also supply a range of torches and lanterns for mobile visibility.
For all things site safety, go to Section 10 of the PPE Catalogue – don’t forget to log in before you click the link!
Additional sources: Health and Safety Executive, Coba Flooring