The 3M Safety-Walk Anti-slip Peelable Coating, and winner of INCLEAN’s Janitorial Innovations Award, was developed to “increase workplace safety,” said Paul Abrahams, 3M’s commercial solutions sales manager. Hosting an official launch at 3M’s facility in North Ryde (Sydney) on 18 February, BSCs, suppliers, industry executives and INCLEAN were invited to a hands-on demonstration to understand exactly how the product works.
“3M has a very strong foundation and name in the area of innovation and it’s great that 3M Australia is adding this important part to the legacy that 3M carries globally,” said Junghan (JH) Lee, managing director 3M Australia, in his opening address. “3M has a very ambitious and audacious vision – we want to advance, enhance and improve every company, every home and every life. We are proud to have such a strong vision, and to be able to deliver it.
“Our innovation is unique as it is customer-inspired; we got the idea for this product from our customers by them telling us what they need to improve their business. They have provided great insight into bringing this product to life and we thank them for sharing and being a part of it,” Lee continued. “It’s because of that level of engagement with our customers that we are able to deliver innovative solutions such as this.”
The trademarked, globally patented Anti-Slip Peelable Coating is offered as a solution in the area of slips, trips and falls, which present a safety and liability risk for Australian businesses estimated to cost the economy billions of dollars in workers’ compensation, lost productivity and public liability insurance claims per annum. Industry expert Carl Strautins from Safe Environments Australia addressed the topic of slip resistance standards with the statement, “Too often the slip resistance is secondary to aesthetics.”
Strautins outlined the Australian slip resistance standards and how they relate to the new
building codes, and also explained the four slip resistance test methods – wet pendulum test, dry floor friction test, wet barefoot slip test and oil wet ramp test – and how to best use them to asses different environmental conditions. He also provided a system to assist companies in showing due diligence throughout the design process.
3M also invited Roger Hancock, operations manager risk engineering at Zurich Financial Services Australia Limited, to speak on the issue of public liability and operational risk management for slips, trips and falls. “We deal with this issue using a multi-pronged approach – Identify the risk, quantify it, introduce standards and good practice measures and then share awareness with staff through training,” Hancock shared.
It is 3M’s goal to be a part of those good practice measures to avoid litigation from slips, trips and falls via its Safety-Walk Anti-slip Peelable Coating. “Three years ago our customers demanded safer, better presented floors and we have a saying within our sales department – ‘own the floor, take ownership of it, make it look as good as it can look and make it as safe as possible, for the life of the product’. Based on this we accepted this
challenge to offer our customers a solution,” stated Abrahams.
Developed by the 3M Australia and New Zealand team, the Coating is designed using a bead technology based on micronised organic polymer spheres which create a distinctly textured surface. Due to their round shape, these beads impart a non-abrasive, micro-textured surface with ‘optimum resistance and gloss control’. The aqueous quick-drying polymer is applied in three coats and once dried; the almost-clear film can be peeled off to be removed.
“We see this as a more sustainable approach to floor safety, and is a platform for further development to deliver future products in the ‘peelable’ technology range,” Abrahams concluded.