Best Ways to Reduce Slip Hazards for Access Stairs, Ramps and Grating Walkways

Decrease Slip Risk on Industrial Walkways and Steps

Are your steps and access floors losing their grip?  Or maybe the need to reduce the risk of slipping and falling accidents has been identified at certain points of your facility’s walkways; usually at a change of level such as steps, or often at an intersection or bend in a walkway.  Here, we discuss your options for improving slip resistance on the open-grid type industrial platforms, landings, walkways and stair treads which are fabricated out of grating.  They can be made from metal or a non-metallic composite such as GRP or FRP resin; what they have in common is their open grid which allows the passage of light, ventilation and drainage.

Different Floor and Stair Grating Specs

The best method to increase traction on these grating-type walkways depends on the spacing between the bars.  One of the most popular floor gratings is the 1″ deep bearing bar (3/16″ thickness) with a 4″ cross rods spacing, often referred to as Standard Industrial Grating.  These are often used for industrial access platforms, catwalks in utilities and factories, and heavy plant machines in the likes of quarries, ports, and mines.  In the case of metal grating, these are either welded or press-locked together and sometimes have a serrated top edge to create some traction on the upper surface.  Non-metal grating is moulded or extruded and usually contains an abrasive grit to provide slip resistance.

Best Anti-Slip Addition for Industrial Standard Grid Grating

Anti-Slip Stair Nosing on metal stairs
Titan Anti-Slip cleats used for safety stair nosing
U-TRED SAMPLE
U-TRED PRO SAMPLE

If you’re looking to increase the safety traction of standard industrial grating, it’s hard to beat the Titan Anti-Slip grate cleats.  Whilst oil or dirt infilling tends to clog up the grit traction surface of other anti-slip surfaces, these cleats are engineered to be self-clearing, with raised lugs that provide a positive grip for footwear.

The high visibility of this non-slip retrofit and its deployment versatility makes it great for defining step edges and other potential slip and trip hazards on industrial floor grating.  They are made in safety yellow, powder-coated steel or neon green composite material to suit your site’s requirements.

Precisely engineered to clip onto the standard industrial floor grating, Titan Anti-Slip cleats take only seconds to knock into place, meaning there’s little to no downtime or site working disruption.  No welding, no bolts to drop into the factory below, no hot work; a simple mallet is all that’s needed!

Another advantage of the Titan grip cleats is that the same product can be used on stair nosings as well as on any other areas of the walkway.  They can be used where the slip or trip hazards are increased, to mark out the safe route sight line or highlight different zones along a walkway.

Yellow Grit Non-Slip Stair Nosings and Anti-Skid Strips

If your existing metal or fibreglass grating is of a design that is outside of the standard grid configuration (less than 3.5″ spacing between the bearing bars) then unfortunately the previously mentioned ‘U’ treads from Titan will not be feasible.  This is the disadvantage of such a precision-engineered approach to managing slip risks on industrial catwalks; its not a one-for-all solution, even if it is the best anti-slip after-fit for standard bar gratting.

If your existing walkway, being made from small hole grating lands you in this situation, you might need to consider the stick-on, or bolt-on ‘grit-strips’ that has been the basic approach for a long while now.  There are many reasons why your facilities might have been decked out with flooring that doesn’t fit the standard dimensions; mini holes to stop small debris from falling through, additional weight-bearing requirements etc.  If you need to increase the surface traction and safety of floors which don’t fit the Titan Anti-Slip Treds, read on for the pros and cons of alternative non-slip products…

Advantages of Grit Strips and Bolt Down Stair Nosing

This photo shows high-traction safety grip products made using a rough grit surface, from Safetread.  These types of anti-slip products are great for retrofitting to both smooth and grated walkways or steps as their fixing method of adhesive, screws or bolts means they can be affixed to nearly any surface.  They offer good traction in the wet and like Titan’s non-slip cleats offer a high visibility definition to step edges and pedestrian walkways.

These anti-skid strips are ideal for fixing down with resin-based adhesive or screws for solid flooring such as concrete steps and wooden ramps.

They can be ordered in various widths to suit most stair tread widths and are known to last a long time when used in light to medium-busy pedestrian situations.  Another advantage of these is that some manufacturers produce them in a wide color range.

Disadvantages of Grit Strips and Bolt Down Stair Nosing

Whilst the grit anti-slip attachments might be your best remaining option if the Titan grips don’t fit (i.e. non-standard grid deck floors), you will need to consider how to secure them in place and allow for extra time installing them, along with any implications of using power tools such as drills in the factory.  Probably the most frequent issue we hear from facility managers is that they are difficult to clean and can soon clog up in oily or dirty environments, reducing their specified slip resistance considerably.  When subjected to heavy footfall and abrasive materials they do wear down and if they do come loose, can cause a new tripping hazard, so you’ll need to perform regular checks and replace or refit whenever needed.

If you are wondering which style of anti-slip product is best suited for your open-floor grating, give us a call with detailed measurements or order a sample to test on your site.

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