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Expert Help & Advice

Anti Slip Advice

Thousands of avoidable accidents happen in the UK every single year. Protecting workspaces with non-slip solutions can reduce these risks. 

Click on the links below to find out how Watco can help protect you. If you have a question that we haven't answered below, please contact a member of our team on 01483 418 418.

How do I make slippery steps and ramps safe?

For potentially hazardous areas such as slippery steps and ramps, it is crucial to make sure that you choose a coating with the correct level of slip resistance. For instance, a coating designed to withstand foot traffic would not be as non-slip as a floor paint designed to take heavy traffic such as fork lift trucks - there is a big difference. Choosing the right anti slip paint is essential to minimise the risk of accidents and keep people safe. 
 

Anti Slip Steps - Paints


Watco Safety Grip® is ideal for both steps and ramps. It is a two pack epoxy resin paint which is applied in one thick single coat. The formulation uses pigmented Araldite, which holds the graded anti slip particles in place - (please ask us for a dry tile sample if you would like to see how tough the surface is). The anti slip aggregate comes separately and is sprinkled on as soon as the coating has been applied. You can decide just how slip resistant you’d like it to be, scattering as much or as little aggregate as needed to achieve the desired effect. After scattering the aggregate, re-roller the wet coating - this distributes the aggregate evenly and binds it into the coating. Watco Safety Grip® is extremely tough and will withstand heavy traffic such as fork lift trucks. It is used extensively on steps, ramps or disabled ramps, loading bays, car parks, tail lifts, foot bridges, walkways and entrance ways to busy shopping centres. It provides a high level of slip resistance, even in wet or oily conditions, so it is ideal for making slippery floors safe around machinery. This tough epoxy resin coating offers superior chemical resistance and is ideal for bund areas. It also withstands harsh mechanical scrubbing. Watco Safety Grip® is available in a fast curing version, Watco Safety Grip Rapid (ready for light traffic in 8 hours at 15°C) or a cold curing version, Watco Safety Grip Cold Cure (ready for light traffic in 24hrs at 10°C). 

TIP - If applying Watco Safety Grip® to a rusty surface, remove as much of the rust as possible by using a wire brush and then treat the rust with Watco Primebase, once treated you can go ahead and paint it. 

TIP - Galvanised metal can be painted with Watco Safety Grip® by coating it first with Watco Galvaprime

TIP - Once mixed, do not leave any of the Watco Safety Grip® in the tin, always decant it into a roller tray, otherwise it will become unusable within a very short time. 

TIP - Apply Watco Safety Grip® with a medium pile sheepskin roller not foam. 

Anti Slip Steps - GRP


For difficult to coat areas where you just can’t wait for a coating to dry before putting it back into use, or for application in wet or very cold areas where using a coating is impractical, Watco Firm-Step® Covers would be perfect. Watco Firm-Step® Covers are made of non-slip GRP (Glass Reinforced Plastic) and are exceptionally strong making them ideal for use in heavy wear areas that are in constant use such as entrance ways to hospitals, shopping centres and multi storey car parks. They are roughly 4mm thick and do not warp, swell or stretch even when subject to direct sunlight and offer exceptional slip resistance. They are also ideal for steps which are too crumbly or damaged to be prepared properly for a paint coating. For dirty or oily areas that are hard to clean, just screw-fix them into place using countersunk screws (we supply them) - they can be trafficked immediately, or, providing the floor is clean and dry simply stick them down using Watco Adhesive Mastic. Watco Firm-Step® Covers are virtually indestructible and more or less maintenance free so once they have been put down you can just forget about them! 

If it’s just the edge of steps that need protecting rather than the whole step itself, then I would recommend Watco Firm-Step® Edge. Watco Firm-Step® Edge is just as slip resistant and strong as the Watco Firm-Step® Covers and is chamfered at the back which reduces any potential trip hazard. We have two different versions available, one for inside and one for outside; the only difference is the size of the grit (although the internal version can still be used outside if preferred). However, if you would prefer to use a coating, then Watco Stepmarker would be ideal. Most paints wear off very quickly on step edges, especially when subject to regular foot traffic, but not Watco Stepmarker! It is a based on a two part epoxy coating and is ready for foot traffic in just 4 hours. It can be applied as low as 5°C making it perfect for use in the colder months as well as in the warmer ones too! Watco Stepmarker is slip resistant and clearly highlights step edges and trip hazards. 

For slippery areas such as jetties, pontoons, marine slipways and bridges, Watco Anti Slip GRP Treads would be perfect. They will resist extreme temperatures and will not rot or warp. These plates offer excellent slip resistance and, like the Watco Firm-Step® Edge, they have a chamfered back. Watco Anti Slip GRP Treads are extremely durable and come in three different sizes. 

For smooth surfaces where the strength of GRP is not as critical, but you would still like a durable non-slip finish that will withstand medium traffic, we would recommend Watco Surestep® Treads or Watco Safety Tape. Both have a non-slip finish and the tapes are available in three different anti slip grades - standard, coarse and extra coarse. For profiled metal such as chequer plate, use Watco Conformable Surestep® Treads or Watco Conformable Safety Tape. They both have a flexible aluminium backing which fits snugly around a textured surface and with a rubber mallet you simply tap it into place. If a smarter finish is preferable, use Watco Anti Slip Aluminium Treads. These are made from aluminium, have a slip resistant surface and are pre-drilled, ready for screw fixing into place. 

TIP - Watco Firm-Step® Covers come in different colours, different sizes and different depths. We can cut them to size at no extra cost to save you time and trouble, but you can cut them yourself if preferred, all you need is a hacksaw (although a jigsaw or circular saw would probably be easier for this). 

TIP - Watco Firm-Step® Edge is available in two different profiles 55mm x 55mm and 70mm x 30mm.

TIP - Both Watco Firm-Step® Edge and Watco Firm-Step® Covers can be applied to an uneven floor such as chequer plate - all you need to do is apply a thick layer of Watco Adhesive Mastic to bed them down to help prevent ‘rocking’. 

TIP - Matching Watco Firm-Step® Sheets are available. 

TIP - Always use the Safety Tape Edge Sealer if using it outside or even inside where it may get wet or damp. For dusty or porous surfaces use Watco Safety Tape Primer as this helps stabilise the floor prior to applying the Watco Safety Tape or the Surestep® Treads.

Which level of slip resistance should I choose?

Measuring the effectiveness of a non-slip treatment is carried out using a device called pendulum SRT. The pendulum arm has a rubber pad at the end of its free end; this rubber acts as a sole. As the rubber sole passes over the ground a roughness mark is calculated. 

The standard requirement for pedestrian use is >45, this is measured from a highest (most slip resistant) score of 100.

 

 Products tested            Rating            Anti Slip Resistance
Firm-step® edge85Medium
Aluminium Nosing67 Medium
Firm-step® Covers105 High
Firm-step® Interior Sheet105 High
GRP Ladder Rungs 65Low
Firm-step® Grating70 Medium
Safety Coat40 Low
Safety Grip96 High
Safety Coat Cold Cure96 High
Safety Grip Flex96 High
Surestep® Roll102High
Barefoot Safety Tape106High
Safety Tape106 High

How do I make asphalt surfaces anti slip?

Ideal for high traffic areas Watco Heavy Duty Anti Slip Traffic Paint provides the most reliable solution for coating bitumen surfaces. This tough epoxy resin coating can be easily applied with a roller or brush and provides an anti-slip finish. 

For car parks or areas subjected to moderate traffic, Watco recommend Watco Anti Slip Traffic Paint. It can be applied to damp surfaces and its anti-slip properties mean that it is ideal for pedestrian use. 

Watco Grip-master has an aesthetically pleasing finish whilst still providing a non-slip surface for high traffic areas. It is suitable for both vehicle and pedestrian traffic.

How do I secure mezzanine areas?

Watco recommend using Watco Safety Grip Flex for mezzanine areas as it provides comfort under foot whilst being ideal for floors that are subject to slight movement or mechanical vibrations.

How can I reduce accidents on walkways?

To ensure that walkways are slip resistant, use Watco Firm-Step® Grating. It is virtually indestructible, non slip and self-supporting. 

Wooden decking can become slippery due to the algae that form in damp and shady areas. Using Watco GRP Decking Strips will provide a non slip surface in these conditions. They are perfect for heavy traffic areas, can be trafficked instantly and are quick to install.

How can I make ladders safer?

To improve slip resistance on ladders, Watco recommends using Watco GRP Ladder Rungs, as they are slip resistant, virtually indestructible and highly visible. 

In addition Watco Conformable Safety Tape fits perfectly on contoured surfaces. The tape is self-adhesive and adheres to aluminium surfaces such as ladder rungs. To mould the tape onto the surface, we suggest using a rubber mallet.

What anti slip coatings can be used in hygienic areas?

Watco Epoxy Gloss Coat Hygienic attacks highly resistant bacterial microorganisms and is therefore perfect for areas where hygiene is paramount. 

If the floors need to be both anti slip and hygienic, Watco recommends Watco Slip Resistant Food Safe Coating. It also provides excellent resistance to heavy traffic.


How can I make a floor anti slip and put it back into use quickly?

Watco Safety Grip Rapid withstands heavy traffic and provides Anti Slip properties in as little as 3 hours for stairs, ramps and floors.

How can I make a floor anti slip in cold conditions?

To maximise the safety of floors in cold conditions, Watco recommend Watco Safety Coat Cold Cure. It can be applied at very low temperatures and is ideal for renovating floors in refrigerated or unheated areas during the winter. It is slip resistant and cures rapidly. 

If the floors become slippery due to oil or water, we recommend using Watco Safety Grip Cold Cure. It will support light traffic within 24 hours, with a highly slip resistant finish. This version can be applied between temperatures of 0 and 10˚c. 

If you would prefer not to use coatings, Watco recommends using Watco Anti Slip Aluminium Treads, as they are ideal on wet and cold surfaces and can easily be applied to walkways and steps. 

In areas where it is not possible to use a coating, use Watco Firm-Step® Sheet, which will make wet, cold surfaces safer.

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Help & Advice

Contact our friendly and professional Technical Advisors for expert help and advice for your project. You can give us a call on 01483 418 418 or email sales@watco.co.uk

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