Antislip timber decking helps prevent slips and falls in workplace and public areas
Health and safety is a major consideration for any viable commercial flooring or landscaping project. Personal injury claims through slip and trip accidents continue to increase. A study by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) in 2007 identified that 1 in 3 non-fatal minor workplace injuries were slip and trip related. On average, 35000 workplace area slip and trip incidents are recorded annually.
These figures identify a level of corporate responsibility and obligation for commercial businesses and public sector authorities and organisations to address slip and trip related accidents. In addition it highlights a rational to ensure that project builds are specified with trip related Health and Safety issues in mind. For the architect and specifier, considerations must be made to identify suitable materials to fulfill this corporate responsibility and requirement.
In 2005, the HSE recognised the requirement for a standardised method of measuring the slip resistance of commercial flooring products and surfaces. In turn, organisations, architects and specifiers can then make an informed choice about the slip resistance of commercial flooring products.
Marley Eternit have long recognised the need for increased slip resistant decking for commercial applications and consequently, welcomed an independent test by the Health and Safety Laboratory (HSL) on their product range. In 2007, Marley Eternit launched their Anti-slip Plus decking range into the commercial market which utilises the grooves of the deck board to house a number of course bauxite anti-slip inserts. The Citideck® range uses a slightly less course inserts. Under the industry standard testing methods defined by the HSL, the Pendulum Test Values (PTVs) achieved for both Citideck® and Anti-slip Plus ranges significantly exceeded the minimum required classification for ‘low potential for slip’ in both wet and dry conditions.
Timber decking continues to be a popular solution for commercial applications – increasingly used in leisure and lifestyle, retail, health, public sector and marine landscaping. This may come as no surprise, given that timber deck boards are versatile, easy to install and require little maintenance. With a variety of styles, castellated and smooth profiles, varying widths and its ability to look beautiful in any colour stain or varnish, there is no doubt that timber decking can be used to create visually stunning landscapes. In addition, because of the ease at which it can be integrated with lighting, railings, furniture and other finishing elements, it’s little wonder why it continues to grow in popularity.
Timber decking is a naturally strong and durable product meaning that the longevity of a timber deck solution is valid. Marley Eterniy timber is manufactured from selected joinery grade European Redwood and subsequently graded to BS4978 and is guaranteed for up to 10 years against rot and decay. It is also preservative treated using Osmore Naturewood to BS 8417. Grade V timber is re-graded in the UK to standard C16 and C24 structural grades. Although it is prone, like all timber, to some movement, it can typically be supplied to a tolerance of +/- 1mmm, ensuring that warping or bowing is eliminated. C16 graded decking is suitable for most commercial applications.
C24 grade deck boards are used for more heavy duty application, when considering significant load bearing areas such as very heavy foot fall, seating areas or vehicle thoroughfares for example. Often decking is overlooked in such cases, but a C24 graded deck board is practical for applications where structural factors are a concern.
Bristol Zoo required a complex network of walkways, bridges and communal gathering areas, all with very heavy footfall. It was essential that the solution be durable, structural sound, aesthetically versatile and creative. Visitor safety was also a contributing factor. Marley Eternit timber decking being specified for this large scale landscaping project.
The natural properties of timber wood vary from region to region; species to species. Marley Eternit selects European Redwood from the forests of Sweden and Finland for all its timber decking. Timber from these regions are grown slowly with tight growth rings, and typically have much smaller live knots. Mills are selected that offer the optimum combination of small live knots. Subsequently, timber decking made from the European Redwood has a cleaner, aesthetically more even, almost flawless finish.
More simply, timber has long been recognised as the most sustainable, and one of the most environmentally friendly hard landscaping products. Marley Eternit is a responsible and ethical supplier and only source fully accredited timber from responsible suppliers. They are members of both the FSC and PEFC chain of custody schemes.