The Food & Beverage Industry’s Top Risk Area: Elevated Surfaces 

Liquids, oils, and grease are substances commonly present in food processing facilities and are natural byproducts of a functioning food plant. But what happens when these slick elements are present on high-traffic mezzanines and catwalks or stairwells and crossovers?  

Elevated surfaces are used extensively in wet food manufacturing facilities so employees can reach mixing tank platforms and other raised work areas. These elevated surfaces also quickly become wet and slippery from liquid, grease, blood, and oil spillover, increasing the likelihood of employee slips and falls if not adequately mitigated. 

Slips and falls injure valued employees, damage morale, and have a ripple effect through teams. People don’t move normally on slippery surfaces – they must proceed cautiously, walking more flat-footed or with a wider gait to keep from falling. Throughout a long shift, this can reduce productivity and potentially lead to health concerns for the employee. 

Choosing Function and Durability   

Surprisingly enough, temporary solutions that can cause more harm than good, such as neoprene mats that present tripping hazards due to different surface levels, are still commonly seen across this industry.  

One of the biggest offenders? Diamond plate. This product has been around for decades and is quite ubiquitous. As the name implies, it is simply raised diamonds on metal plate. Diamond plate has advantages: being easy to fabricate and relatively durable. Unfortunately, it also loses its non-slip properties when wet and becomes extremely hazardous. In fact, wet diamond plate is a greater slipping hazard than smooth plate (metal plates without the embossed diamond patterns). 

Friction is generated by the number of contact points between two surfaces, and diamond plate actually reduces the number of contacts between shoe and floor. Water and grease take away all the contact points, increasing slip and fall risk dramatically. 

Inadequate safety is a very real business cost. Even in a massive facility, slips and falls are localized to specific areas. The National Floor Safety Institute (NFSI) finds that 55% of all slip and fall accidents happen on walkways. These are design issues that, once identified, are relatively simple to remedy. 

SLIPNOT anti-slip surfaces have become a go-to solution for food manufacturers producing and processing meat, condiments, dairy products, and more. When applied to grated mezzanines and other surfaces, SLIPNOT’s patented anti-slip coating creates safe, high-traction surfaces that reduce slips and falls by more than 90%. SLIPNOT also provides many other benefits specifically for food manufacturers: 

  • An anti-slip coating that can be bonded to stainless steel grating and stair treads, adhering to the strict hygiene and sanitary requirements for food production and processing
  • Due to the unique, patented surface, SLIPNOT coating technologies maintain their anti-slip properties even when wet, meaning production can often continue despite the presence of spills that would otherwise bring production to a halt
  • A long-life, durable surface that tolerates back-to-back shift changes and clean-in-place procedures while upholding employee safety

Our safety experts are here to help you identify high-risk areas around your facility and in addition, work with you to estimate the potential financial risk due to employee slips and falls. Contact us today and see how you can create an efficient, SLIPNOT environment.

SLIPNOT products are manufactured in the U.S. and exceed all wet and dry coefficient of friction recommendations and standards set by: Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and the National Floor Safety Institute (NSFI), among others. NFSI has also certified SLIPNOT stainless steel material as High Traction.

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