Avoiding Slips, Trips, and Falls
In a healthcare environment, safety is paramount. Falls are a common and devastating complication of patient care, particularly in elderly patients. Studies have found that falls occur at a rate of 3-5 per 1,000 bed-days, and the Agency for Healthcare Research and
Quality (AHRQ) estimates that 700,000 to 1 million hospitalized patients fall each year. A fall is considered a "never event," which means it should never happen and is non-reimbursable to the U.S. health system, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Patient Safety Network. Making wise product choices can help reduce the risk of controllable slip and fall incidents.
Making good choices to mitigate trip hazards
Trip, or the act of catching one’s foot on something resulting in a fall, can be mitigated by selecting flooring solutions that minimize or eliminating surface finishes that have a change in elevation greater than ¼” between them. There is a need in commercial design for the use of many different types of surfaces. Shaw Contract provides a system of products that can work together to eliminate the need for transition strips, while meeting aesthetic and functional requirements like infection control and improved roller mobility. Removing a transition strip eliminates one more place for dirt and grime to gather, allowing for cleanliness and longevity of your floor.
Sheet to LVT
Shaw Contract has developed a variety of products that are designed to coordinate together without the need for transitions so that you can use sheet when required for an aseptic area and transition to LVT when your design calls for it. If your design is for abstract or wood, close coordination or calming shifts, or portfolio can answer your needs.
LVT to Carpet Tile
The Americans with Disabilities Act calls for a change of no greater than ¼” difference to easy mobility through a surface. Our wide selection of LVT in 5 mm thickness is compatible and approved for use with most carpet tile without the need for a transition between them. Our EcoWorx® carpet tile comes with a warranty protecting the edges against edge ravel, meaning that you can be assured that the fibers will stay intact at the point of transition.
Broadloom Carpet to Sheet
When you want to continue a moisture impervious installation, but need to combine hard and soft surfaces, Shaw Contract has a solution. LokSeam is a clear polyester polyurethane that is a simple, strong, and safe system to join carpet and resilient products together — eliminating the need for transition strips. This bond is strong enough to withstand long-term, heavy foot and roller traffic and it locks the broadloom tufts in place, ensuring no edge ravel. LokSeam will provide a moisture-proof bond prohibiting top -down spills from reaching the subfloor where the two products are joined. With a 15-minute set time, LokSeam allows immediate occupancy.
Selecting the right flooring to avoid slips
Coefficient of friction is calculated by measuring the resistance you push against when you start in motion. A slip occurs when you push off with more force than the surface can resist. When selecting a flooring option in healthcare, the traffic patterns of staff, patients, and visitors must be considered. ASTM D2407 is a test method used to evaluate criteria to meet the requirement for a nonhazardous walkway surface. In the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Accessibility Guidelines for Buildings and Facilities (ADAAG), Appendix A 4.5 specifies selecting materials for flooring surfaces that have a static coefficient of friction values no less than 0.6 for level surfaces. All Shaw Contract products meet this COF requirement. Resilient flooring with an extremely dense, non-polished surface delivers the best coefficient of friction (COF) to assist with movement across the floor. Additionally, a polish-optional floor also alleviates issues with glare that can distract, cause confusion, and create eye fatigue, compromising patient vision and disrupting balance.
Shaw Contract recognizes that healthcare spaces are rapidly evolving to support the technical, social, and emotional roles of healing. We are constantly thinking about ways to answer emerging needs for patients, their families, and healthcare providers. We provide insights and product solutions that reflect principle opportunities and challenges in the healthcare sector. Flooring provides critical support and performance for a wide range of specialized environments. Well-designed spaces enhance patient and caregiver experiences and contribute to the healing process. Shaw Contract serves the segment as a committed partner, with unrivaled expertise and a dedicated portfolio of solution-driven products.
June 30, 2020