Slip resistance in education: safety (floors) first!

Did you know slip-related accidents are one of the main causes of injuries in schools, and that over half of those accidents can be linked to an unsafe, slippery floor? An educational facility is a high-traffic environment full of enthusiastic and energetic children and young people running around. With safety flooring, they can do so in a safer space.

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What is safety flooring?

Safety floors differ from classic vinyl flooring due to their unique production process. They need to meet many more technical requirements, as well comply with EN 13845, the European standard that ensures the sustainability of slip resistance in vinyl flooring.

The main difference between safety flooring and other vinyl flooring solutions is the wear layer, which is at least 0.7mm thick for commercial applications and contains hard particles that create a rough surface. “Flooring manufacturers take a substance like quartz, grind it down and scatter it into the wear layer so the sharp edges stick out on a microscopic level and create a slip resistant floor,” Ortwin Top, heterogeneous vinyl product manager, explains.

What defines a safety floor:

  • It meets the requirements of EN 13845, the European Standard for slip resistance in vinyl flooring.
  • It has passed a ramp-based test such as DIN51033, a commonly quoted European slip test standard used to assess slip resistance.
  • It scores R-36 or higher on the Pendulum Test, which measures the coefficient of friction of a floor surface.

Both safe and stunning

However, safety floors don’t just need to meet these technical specifications – they also have to look good. That’s why IVC developed Isafe 70, a safety flooring range that excels in slip resistance but still knocks you out with its stunning designs and bold colour palette.

Creating a safe educational space

In a school environment, safety is crucial. Take chemistry classes for example, where a child might spill fluids and slip on them. Or think of the school canteen, where a glass of water might fall from a lunch tray and cause a slip hazard.

That’s where the safety flooring comes in, avoiding falls and improving children’s safety, thanks to a special permanent anti-slip layer. “Enhanced particles limit the risk of falling in various settings, from classrooms to busy hallways,” Ortwin explains. “At IVC, we add an extra anti-slip measure to our safety floors as well: our innovative, tried and tested Hypergrip layer, which enhances the slip resistance of our Isafe 70 collection even more.”

Bear in mind, in order to create a truly safe educational space, it is advisable to take precautions that go beyond flooring. Doorsteps, cleaning and maintenance regimes and even the footwear of students and staff should also be taken into account when evaluating an education facility’s safety status.