Uphold the safety and compliance of your facility with regular maintenance and repairs
Whether you’re a facility manager at a shopping centre, an apartment building or a sports stadium, it’s essential that you have your i’s dotted and your t’s crossed when it comes to your building’s health and safety. Safe Work Australia reported that between 2003 and 2015, 56% of reported incidents were caused by environmental factors such as poorly designed or maintained walkways and slippery surfaces following rain or spills. Upholding the safety of site staff and public visitors, regularly scheduled maintenance and repairs are the keys to preventing and reducing the risk of slip, trip and fall incidents.
Aside from minimising the risk of slips, trips and falls, the routine upkeep of your stair and floor safety also helps with enhancing your building’s cleanliness and longevity. By assessing if current access/safety features in heavy-traffic areas need to be replaced, you’ll also have the opportunity to update the aesthetics of your space. From new indoor and outdoor entry matting to contemporary stainless steel tactiles and anti-slip brass stair nosings, there are many ways to elevate your facility’s presentation and ensure the continued patronage of valued visitors.
Why is maintenance important for commercial public safety?
From 2019 to 2020, Safe Work Australia stated that 23% of serious workers’ compensation claims, resulted from falls, trips and slips. Excluding fatalities and journey claims, the median compensation paid was $13,500 per serious claim.
Preventative planning and maintenance play a pivotal role in public safety and it is your duty of care to ensure your facility is well-maintained, free of hazards and safe to access. Constant reactive maintenance is not only time-consuming and stressful but can also pose a larger financial risk.
Rather than waiting for assets to break down and causing unnecessary inconveniences, you can proactively allocate funds towards ongoing site checks and maintenance to ensure compliance with Australian floor safety standards (AS and NCC), while minimising the risk of costly injury claims occurring onsite. With EOFY just around the corner, now’s the right time to allocate some of your current facility maintenance budget to floor and stair maintenance or request additional funding. Learn more about the importance of floor safety.
What to inspect in your flooring/surfacing maintenance check
Inspecting your flooring and surfaces is an important part of any preventative maintenance process and mandatory for compliance with AS1428, NCC, and any applicable Safe Work Australia requirements. To cover your bases, you should follow a two-pronged approach of assessing the condition of products to make sure they are still fit for purpose and determining whether they require standard maintenance or complete replacement.
As part of your flooring/surfacing maintenance check, we highly recommend you to closely assess the condition and compliance of your entrance matting, stair nosings and tactiles to ensure the safety of people passing through.
1. Entrance Matting
If your building sees high levels of in-and-out foot traffic, commercial entrance mats are a great investment for keeping your building’s interior presentable while reducing the risk of slips, trips and falls by trapping dirt and moisture at the door. Creating an aesthetically pleasing entranceway, Safe Work Australia also requires businesses to eliminate the risk of slips, trips and falls “so far as is reasonably practicable” which also saves you from potential costly payouts.
When it comes to your maintenance check, you’ll need to assess if the current entrance matting is still fit for purpose, retains its anti-slip properties, and they’re in good enough condition for optimum dirt and moisture retention.
Learn more about the importance of commercial entrance mats.
2. Stair nosings
Installed on the ‘nose’ of a step, stair nosings provide an anti-slip surface and can be susceptible to falling off due to wear and tear over time. They are an AS1428.1 general requirement, providing access for people with vision impairments and disabilities with confident and safe access when navigating stairs. In particular, stair nosings with a luminescent insert make the step edge more visible, a crucial visual aid for partially sighted people or in situations of power failure.
With the maintenance of your stair nosings, you’ll want to check that the right nosing has been installed and that it is still securely positioned, without signs of falling off or being excessively worn in any sections. From Slip Resistant Ratings, LRV ratings and more, Classic can help you ensure your choice of stair nosing solutions are compliant with all Australian Standards.
For more information on the application of stair nosings, please refer to our Application Guide.
3. Tactile indicators
Warning and directional tactile surface indicators are often installed across a range of public spaces including stairways, escalators, passenger conveyors, ramps and areas that lack suitable barriers, to provide adequate warning of impending hazards and orientation prompts. Complying with AS1428.4.1:2009, this is a particularly crucial navigator and environmental cue for those with vision impairments. As with stair nosings, tactile indicators also provide a luminance contrast to further empower the visually impaired to navigate built surroundings with confidence.
To ensure the optimal performance of tactile indicators installed across your facility, you will need to check that individual studs haven’t fallen out and that the tactile tiles haven’t worn out. Factoring in the various types, their placement, luminance contrast, size and quality, you will also need to ensure that tactile indicators have been installed in all applicable areas.
The top 5 benefits of fixing and replacing floor safety products
As a facility manager, you can allocate the current budget to fix and replace your floor safety products before the end of the financial year.
The benefits of this include:
- Keeping your staff and visitors safe
- Staying compliant (AS and NCC) to prevent the risk of injury and untimely breakdowns
- Maximising the lifespan of your flooring and stairs
- Minimising the inconvenience of unexpected downtime due to preventable issues
- Modernising your facility to achieve a different design aesthetic
At Classic, we have a team of experts who can give you comprehensive advice on AS and NCC compliance as well as floor maintenance and replacement services. In addition to fixing or replacing your current entrance matting, tactile indicators and/or stair nosings, we can also guide you on the correct inclusion and placement of your floor safety solutions.
Arranging maintenance and repairs
Prioritising consistent proactive maintenance over ad hoc reactive measures, preventative maintenance covers four focus areas including
- Inspection – this ensures all assets are safe and functioning as intended, keeping your facility and people protected.
- Detection – by detecting any potential issues, you’ll be able to nip them in the bud.
- Correction – if any potential issues are detected, you’ll be able to correct the problem before it worsens.
- Prevention – by noting down past mistakes and proactively addressing potential problems, you can prevent unexpected issues from occurring.
Whether you require a simple supply or a full consult-to-installation service, our nationwide network and quick turnaround times ensure minimal disruption to your facility’s operations.
Let Classic help you create and maintain a safe, compliant environment
At Classic Architectural Group, our architecturally-driven designs and fast product/installation lead times fully comply with the Australian Safety Standards. This includes Australian Standards (AS 1428.1:2009 and AS1428.4.1:2009), The National Construction Code/Building Code of Australia and The Disability Discrimination Act (DDA).
Whether it’s a quick product replacement, a complete assessment or general maintenance and installation, our team can provide you with end-to-end service from consult to manufacture, supply and installation. If it’s a replacement, our large range and stock holding of floor and stair safety solutions ensure effortless matching with your existing product for a cohesive look.
Our friendly team of experts have worked with Facility Managers across all industries nationwide including Education, Health, Industrial, Office, Residential, Retail, Sports & Recreation, and Community & Cultural sectors. Keeping your maintenance on track with allocated budgets and scheduled completion dates, we’re here to keep you a step ahead!
To discuss your floor safety requirements or for more information, please contact our friendly team by calling 1300 244 377 today.