For manufacturing and industrial sites, risk mitigation is a critical piece of the H&S puzzle. As in all hazardous work environments, it’s imperative to be proactive in ensuring the safety of your employees – especially when your site has metal grid panel walkway grating.
Galvanised grating (stainless steel grating) or fiberglass open mesh grating is the walkway and catwalk flooring of choice in industrial and manufacturing sectors for many reasons, but the nature of the work being done on sites presents inherent safety challenges:
- Working from heights from metal grid panel walkways or equipment platforms increases risk of serious injury from slips and falls, as well as fall-through of dropped objects such as tools
- Employees handling dangerous or breakable objects and materials are at greater risk if they slip or trip
- Many sites are located outdoors and operate 24/7, subjecting surfaces and employees to slippery surfaces due to mud or dirt, ice, humidity, condensation and dew
- Exposure to the elements and to corrosive substances can cause metal grid panel walkway grating to erode over time, which needs to be regularly monitored
Statistically, manufacturing is one of the most dangerous sectors to work in in the UK, with 15% of all fatal accidents caused by a high-level fall, and slips, trips and falls being the leading cause of non-fatal injuries. Signage and wearable safety equipment can only go so far.
If there are fiberglass or metal walkways on your site, a key part of managing risk and improving safety is to proactively address the dangers of slips, trips and falls.
Here’s what we recommend:
If you need to: Improve the safety of outdoor metal grid panel walkways and steel catwalk grating
You need: Firmagrip
Oil and gas rigs, mining sites and many manufacturing plants necessitate employees working on metal grate flooring and platforms throughout their duties. Metal grid panel walkways are generally the safest and lightweight flooring option when it comes to these work sites. Metal or fiberglass open mesh grating prevents dirt and the elements accumulating in harsh external environments, and spillages of liquids or the residue from manufacturing materials don’t become slip hazards. But that doesn’t make the flooring slip-resistant – quite the opposite!
Protecting the floor with a heavy duty slip-resistant mat – such as Firmagrip – is the best solution for any work site looking to improve the safety of open mesh grating surfaces.
While some operations use anti-slip sheets for ramps or anti-slip paint on their steel catwalk grating, this is only easy to apply prior to installation and ideally should be refreshed regularly to retain its grit. Metal grate flooring can itself erode over time (such as via repeated brushing/movement of shoes), and it is much more efficient to protect the grating from erosion than to replace the metal grate panels on the walkway or catwalk themselves.
Firmagrip’s heavy-duty solution is the safety mat of choice for many sites and manufacturing plants, because its flexible, non-porous PVC construction is resistant to most acids, alkalines and oils and is naturally resistant to bacteria growth. Firmagrip is certified slip resistant, resistant to PVC degradation from UV light and is designed to function at extreme temperatures from -23°C up to +60°C, making it ideal for year-round use in harsh environments and extreme weather conditions.
If you need to: Keep employees safe on roof walkways, gantries and high level platforms
You need: Crossgrip PVC
Whether you have employees working from heights on a regular basis, or need to ensure the safety of trades when servicing equipment on the roof of your building or plant, surfaces exposed to the elements present an additional risk. A little moisture, dew or even moss/mould can make a roof membrane, and a metal walkway incredibly slippery underfoot. You can help mitigate risk by adding a high-grip mat onto any steel catwalk grating or walkway grating surface, which can inherently become slippery when wet from rain or condensation.
Help protect workers on metal grid panel walkways with Crossgrip PVC. This heavy-duty walkway system has a two-layer, diamond-cut pattern and cross-directional top ribs that provide a firm grip underfoot whether it’s windy or wet, with excellent drainage capacity. Crossgrip PVC is certified slip resistant and able to withstand all types of weather, including wind up to 60mph (96km/h)*. Made from flexible PVC, this flat roof walkway matting is designed to be loose laid with no fixing required, so can be installed quickly and easily, even in adverse weather conditions.
* Tests at the University of Hertfordshire, School of Aerospace, Automotive & Design Engineering showed Crossgrip PVC when laid flat on a stable platform remained in position for wind speeds of 94mph (150 km/h ).
If you need to: Improve the safety of metal walkways in indoor industrial and commercial facilities and slippery areas
You need: Vynagrip
Manufacturing facilities, recycling plants and many other industrial and commercial settings often need large areas to be fitted with metal grid panel flooring or walkways, which need to be regularly hosed down for hygiene purposes, leading to very slippery surfaces.
Certified slip resistant with excellent drainage, Vynagrip is an excellent all rounder that delivers superior defence against slippery environments. The mat’s diamond tread pattern delivers unparalleled underfoot slip resistance, which helps to manage the risk of people slipping and equipment or vehicles from skidding. The mat’s two-layer construction and anti-fatigue properties also provides comfortable cushioning for employees. Vynagrip’s non-porous construction resists bacteria growth and mildew and is easy to clean with a high pressure hose. It also withstands freezing temperatures down to -23°C without cracking or curling, making this a winning combination for any walkway grating in a refrigerated facility.
If you need to tackle large debris accumulating on your metal grate flooring
You need: Trackgrip
Does your site or manufacturing facility have stainless steel grating or fiberglass open mesh grating for its flooring or walkways because of large debris? Whether you’re dealing with ore, dirt or rocks, or your production processes lead to slip hazards thanks to metal, timber, plastic shavings or greasy residue, Trackgrip helps mitigate debris becoming a safety hazard on your overhead catwalks or metal grate walkways.
Trackgrip has excellent sound absorption, is resistant to most greasy and chemical substances, and is 100% recyclable, which helps manufacturers, mining and energy companies meet stringent sustainability standards and targets.
If you need to highlight a route or mark out an area, Trackgrip Plus features a yellow band that runs along the edging of the mat for delineating routes or areas.
Increase the safety of metal walkways in your workplace
Industrial and manufacturing workplaces are some of the most dangerous sites for employees to work, and when you’re operating 24/7 or have employees working long shifts or in dangerous environments, ensuring safety is paramount.