Firwood Anti Slip Paints – A Cost Effective Solution To Avoid Slips & Trips

Posted in Product News and Information by Firwood on August 7th 2015
Slips and trips are a major hazard in factories and any areas where the general public may be present. It is claimed that slips, trips and falls cost the UK approx £800M per year. Claims following slips can be expensive to handle and ruin relationships with customers and employees. Anti slip floor paint offer a cost effective solution to reducing the risks of slippery floors but care must be taken in selecting the correct coating.

Occupier's Common Duty Of Care

Occupiers of premises have a duty of care to ensure that visitors to their premises will be reasonably safe in their use of the premises. Visitors and employees must not be subjected to undue risks and this covers the risks of slips and trips.

Firwood anti-slip coatings can be used to reduce the risk of slips in both internal and external applications on floors, steps and ramps. One of Firwood's largest projects using anti slip coatings was for the painting of the nosing of steps on the London Olympic Stadium where over 14,000 steps were painted to reduce the risk of slips and clearly identify the edge of the steps as required under Building Regulations. In this example Firwood water borne two pack epoxy anti slip coatings were applied by a team of contractors prior to the opening of the stadium.

What Information Is Needed Before Selecting An Anti slip Floor Paint?

Choosing the correct coating is important if the anti-slip coating is to be effective and durable. Some key information must be gathered to ensure the correct product is specified.

  • The surface area to be covered in SqM
  • Is the area to be painted steps, ramps or level flooring
  • What is the floor made of and when was it laid. New concrete for example is difficult to paint until completely dried out which can take many months after laying of the concrete.
  • The environment in which the coating is to be applied, is it internal or external
  • Contaminants the floor will be subjected to for example water, greases and chemicals
  • The level of traffic the floor will be exposed to from light duty domestic applications through to heavy duty commercial jobs
  • Will the floor be subjected to vehicular traffic including cars, trucks and fork lift trucks
  • Does the floor need to indicate, using colour, areas such as walkways, disabled parking areas etc.
  • What time is available to apply and cure the coating prior to re-opening the painted area to pedestrian and vehicular traffic.
With this information a selection can be made from the various types of anti-slip flooring available. Firwood's product advisory service can offer telephone and onsite support in selecting the correct floor paint.

How Is The Slip Resistance Of A Floor Paint Measured?

The preferred method for measuring slip resistance in the UK is the pendulum slip test apparatus. All Firwood Floor Paints and Seals are assessed using this apparatus and the test results are detailed on the product technical information sheet.

The test is typically carried out in both dry and wet conditions and the results are recorded to indicate the typical slip resistance for the coating. This can be both a laboratory test and also carried out on site.

The table below shows the potential for slip classification, based on pendulum test values.

Pendulum Value Slip Risk
0-24 High
25-35 Moderate
36-64 Low
65+ Extremely low

The minimum HSE guideline for slip resistance in potential wet areas (water contamination) is a pendulum measurement of above 35

Differing Types Of Floor Paints

Firwood anti slip paints fall into various categories:

Solvent Borne Anti-slip Paints – These are easy to apply and typically tolerant of low temperatures during application. Firwood solvent borne anti-slip paints are single pack allowing application straight from the can.

Water Borne Systems – Water borne anti slip floor paints are the preferred option for most clients due to their environmental credentials. Their performance is comparable with similar solvent borne paints. The only issue with water borne anti-slip paints is that they must be applied at temperatures of 10°C or greater.

100% Solids Systems – These liquid coatings do not contain water or solvents and are fast drying allowing them to be used where speed of drying is critical. They require an organised approach to application due to the short pot life of the mixed paint.

The Differing Requirements Of External & Internal Applications It is important when painting floors, steps and ramps outdoors that the product being applied will stand up to the effects of the weather in the extremes of summer and winter. The anti-slip floor paint must also be capable of drying in the weather window available as rain falling on the floor coating whilst it is curing will severely affect its performance. Indoor applications can be easier as they are typically protected from the weather. Be it indoors or outdoors the applicator must be careful to ensure that the floor and air temperatures are within the relevant tolerance limits for the selected coating.

How Should The Floor Be Prepared Prior To PaintingThe correct preparation of the floor prior to painting is critical and a failure to prepare correctly is the cause of failure of most anti slip floor paints. Preparation typically takes considerably longer than application of the coating. The method of preparation will vary dependent on the substrate and environmental conditions. The user should read carefully the technical information for the anti-slip coating to ensure correct preparation of the floor before its application.

How Are Anti-slip Floors Maintained – For all floors a regular cleaning and maintenance routine is required to ensure the floor is kept clean. A failure to do this will reduce the anti-slip properties of the floor. Most floors can be cleaned with scrubber dryer machines. Burnishing machines should not be used with anti-slip floor paints. A mild detergent can be used to remove oils and grease where necessary. Steam cleaning is not recommended and when high pressure washing keep the gun tip at least 12" away from the surface.

The anti-slip properties of floor coatings will degrade over time. The anti-slip aggregate used will slowly wear and the floor can become contaminated changing the profile of the surface. When the floor becomes worn then it may be necessary to repaint the surface to ensure the rough profile of the anti-slip aggregate is maintained.

Contact Firwood Today To For A Wide Range Of Paints & Coatings

Firwood provides a great selection of anti slip floor paint including options which feature excellent resistance to water, oils, mild acids and alkalis. For more information about any of Firwood's products please get in touch today by calling 01204 525231 or email

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