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Anti-Slip for Stairs: When Tape Isn’t Enough

Sad to say, accidents are waiting to happen anytime and anywhere, from schools to steel mills and public parks to oil rigs. Any set of stairs presents a potential hazard. Anti-slip tape lasts for a while but with the amount and type of foot traffic and the surrounding environment, tape can wear and lose its effectiveness. Constant replacement is time consuming, and costly. Worse yet, an accident or fall could occur during the time period the tape is failing.  Time to look for a new solution.

There are actually three main factors that weigh on the choice between anti-slip tape or a more durable anti-slip product. Those three factors are:

  • Usage
  • Amount of traffic
  • Environment

That last is extremely important because step environments can cover a wide range of scenarios from a home or school to an offshore oil platform, an office or hospital to a manufacturing facility or warehouse. A school might have hundreds or thousands of students, in all kinds of weather, traversing a main staircase. A steel mill or auto shop will see all manner of slippery oils, lubricants or fluids. Stairs exposed to the elements, whether in a park or on an oil rig pose their own unique set of challenges, and the list continues with cattle yards, poultry processing facilities and the like.

The range of options as alternatives to tape can include:

At Sure-Foot Industries, every product the company makes exceeds OSHA standards and other governing boards’ guidelines for coefficient and friction. But what comes into play with a Sure-Foot product, in addition to coefficient of friction is durability.  New Sure-Foot customers become return purchasers for other walkways, ramps and surfaces once they experience Sure-Foot’s product durability.

Rubber and Vinyl products are generally recommended for interior situations at institutions such as colleges and universities, government buildings, medical facilities or hospitals. These provide anti-slip yet are easily maintained simply by wet mopping.

Other facilities that have interior office space or warehousing might use rubber and vinyl stair treads on the inside and fiberglass step covers outside or near a loading dock. Or, a company’s vehicle fleet might be outfitted with anti-slip solutions custom cut to fit the back of a delivery van or other vehicles that requires employees to move on and off with great frequency in different types of weather.

Wherever there is heavier traffic, slippery materials present, extreme outdoor environments or a lot of moisture, typically Sure-Foot would suggest use a fiberglass based product.

Heavy-duty Applications

Customers might not realize that one way to help extend the lifespan of more robust anti-slip solutions, such as the fiberglass step covers, BOLD STEP stair treads or deck strips, is to use a high-pressure washing system to keep them scrubbed and cleaned.  Rubber or Vinyl treads are designed for wet mopping, sufficient to help maintain their appearance.

Even in food and drug manufacturing facilities that may not allow fiberglass in the manufacturing area can rely on Sure-Foot BOLD STEP anti-slip solutions, while a closed-cell epoxy product is recommended for clean rooms and FDA managed facilities.

Recently, Sure-Foot developed a guide to help determine which anti-slip solution is recommended for different surfaces/environments. Consult that guide to evaluate your traffic and environment for the best anti-slip solution for your stairs, walkways and ramps. Or call Sure-Foot Industries today at 800-522-6566 for a consultation.

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