Anti-slip timber decking helps prevent slip trips and falls in workplace and public areas

Citideck anti slip decking from Marley Ltd to prevent slips and trips in public areas

Health and safety is a major consideration for any viable commercial flooring or landscaping project, as personal injury claims through slip and trip accidents continue to increase. Specification of suitable timber decking can help prevent slips, trips and falls in workplaces and public areas.

According to the Health and Safety Executive, slips and trips account for over one-third of all reported major injuries in the UK and injuries related to these accidents cost the health services around £133 million per year. Around half of all reported accidents to members of the public happen in workplaces, and the cost to employers is around £512 million per year.

These figures identify a level of corporate responsibility and obligation for commercial businesses and public sector authorities and organisations to address slip- and trip-related accidents. It also highlights a rationale to ensure that project builds are specified with trip-related health and safety issues in mind. For the architect and specifier, considerations must be made to identify suitable materials to fulfil this corporate responsibility and requirement.

Slip resistance in flooring products

According to The Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992, floors must be suitable, in good condition and free from obstructions so that people can move around safely. Slip resistance is an important part of this, and having a standardised method of measuring the slip resistance of commercial flooring products and surfaces allows organisations, architects and specifiers to make an informed choice about the slip resistance of commercial flooring products.

Following research carried out by the Health and Safety Laboratory (HSL), it was determined that slip resistance could be accurately assessed using the pendulum test. The test uses a swinging, imitation heal to measure the slipperiness of flooring materials, and the testing procedure is set out in BS 7976: Parts1-3, 2002.2

Marley’s anti-slip timber decking range

Marley has long recognised the need for increased slip-resistant decking for commercial applications and welcomed an independent test by HSL on our product range. 

In 2007, Marley launched Antislip Plus decking to the commercial market. This uses the grooves of the deck board to house a number of coarse bauxite anti-slip inserts. 

The CitiDeck range uses inserts that are slightly less coarse. Under the industry-standard testing methods defined by HSL, the Pendulum Test Values (PTVs) achieved for both the CitiDeck and Antislip Plus ranges significantly exceeded the minimum required classification for ‘low potential for slip’ in both wet and dry conditions.

The benefits of anti-slip timber decking

Timber decking continues to be a popular solution for commercial applications, and it is increasingly used in leisure and lifestyle, retail, health, public sector and marine landscaping. This may come as no surprise, given that timber deck boards are versatile, easy to install and require little maintenance. 

With a variety of styles, castellated and smooth profiles, varying widths and its ability to look beautiful in any colour stain or varnish, there is no doubt that timber decking can be used to create visually stunning landscapes. It can also be easily integrated with lighting, railings, furniture and other finishing elements, contributing further to its growth in popularity.

Timber decking is also a good choice for the environment. Timber has long been recognised as the most sustainable hard landscaping solution. As an ethical supplier and member of PEFC's chain of custody scheme, Marley only sources fully accredited timber from responsible suppliers.

Anti-slip timber decking for strength and reliability

Timber decking is a naturally strong and robust product meaning that an anti-slip timber deck will provide longevity. 

The natural properties of timber wood vary from region to region; species to species. Marley selects European Redwood from the forests of Sweden and Finland for all its timber decking. Timber from these regions is grown slowly, resulting in tight growth rings and typically much smaller live knots. Boards are selected that offer the optimum combination of small live knots. Subsequently, timber decking made from the European Redwood has an aesthetically cleaner, more even and almost flawless finish.

Marley timber is manufactured from selected joinery grade European Redwood and subsequently graded to BS 4978 and is guaranteed for up to ten years against rot and decay. It is also preservative-treated using Osmore Naturewood to BS 8417. 

Grade V timber is re-graded in the UK to standard C16 and C24 structural grades. Although it is prone, like all timber, to some movement, it can typically be supplied to a tolerance of ±1mm, ensuring that warping or bowing is eliminated. C16-graded decking is suitable for most commercial applications.

C24-grade deck boards are used for more heavy-duty applications, when considering significant load-bearing areas such as very heavy footfall, seating areas or vehicle thoroughfares, for example. Often, decking is overlooked in such cases, but a C24-graded deck board is practical for applications where structural factors are a concern. 

Anti-slip timber decking at Bristol Zoo

Marley’s Antislip Plus and CitiDeck anti-slip timber decking have been used in a number of high-profile projects across the UK, including the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.

When Bristol Zoo required new decking for its network of walkways, bridges and communal gathering areas, it needed something that could withstand very heavy footfall, while also being durable, structurally sound, aesthetically versatile and creative. 

Visitor safety was another important factor - so 4,000 linear metres of Marley Antislip Plus timber decking was installed over several phases. This included a non-slip boardwalk around the lake that borders the Monkey Jungle and nearby Gorilla Island.

Marley’s anti-slip decking for safe and attractive landscaping

To find out more about how Marley’s anti-slip timber decking products could benefit your next project, contact our decking technical team.