On Monday 12th December, 2016, The Caribbean Industrial Research Institute (CARIRI) launched its newest service, Slip Resistance Assessment, to a full house at the Centre for Enterprise Development, Innovation Avenue, Freeport.
The occurrence of Slips, Trips and Falls within recent times in commercial spaces has grown rapidly and in speaking with persons in the construction sector, a common point of contention has always been the coefficient of friction, which is the measure of slip resistance of a tile. Almost every building, commercial or otherwise in the country has some percentage of its space covered by tiles. This is a service that is needed in Trinidad and Tobago, and by extension the region, since it will provide users of commercial spaces with a measure of comfort over the safety of walkways and floors.
The Slip Resistance Assessment will ensure that Slips, Trips and Falls are minimized and that employers, employees, customers and the general public feel safe in the knowledge that these walkways and floors are ‘slip resistant’. In addition to this, it could also help to reduce the cost of the company in the long run by ensuring that tiles that are in place are able to withstand the wear and tear of high levels of use as well as mitigate the company’s risk for lawsuits due to Slips, Trips and Falls.
To assess a floor’s slip resistance, CARIRI now has a reliable, thoroughly researched floor friction test method and the equipment necessary to conduct the assessment. CARIRI is mandated to provide value to the people of Trinidad and Tobago and by offering this new service, the Institute aims to ensure that they provide professional advice and testing that will go a long way in keeping the walkways and floors of commercial spaces as safe as possible. As Ms Lisa Ramoutar, Unit Leader of the Industrial Materials Unit – Civil stated in her presentation “One of the biggest aspects of Walkway Safety is the Slips, Trips and Falls. We want to minimize these.”
It is with this objective in mind that the Industrial Materials Unit – Civil sought out the experts in this field and invited them to come to Trinidad to assist the staff at the Institute with training so that they would be better equipped to serve the market.
The Substratum Group has been in existence for decades and has been able to establish itself as a leader in providing safer walkways and floors. They have extensive background in the development and execution of floor care solutions for all facility types and they do use a standards-based approach to walkway safety and this was able to tie in nicely with CARIRI’s commitment to providing the best service to its clients.
Mr David Collette, Managing Director of the Substratum Group personally came to Trinidad to conduct the training, and at the session, he endorsed the quality of the skills that the team at CARIRI now possesses in the area of Slip Resistance Assessment. He was able to bring to light the importance of quality design, procurement and even maintenance in ensuring that Slips, Trips and Falls occur even less or not at all.
The session was well received by a varied cross section of persons which included personnel from the banks, schools, regional corporations, groceries, government ministries, construction companies, architects, etc.
CARIRI is now well established after having a number of staff trained in the area of Slip Resistance Assessment and are pleased and proud to be able to launch this service. It is hoped that by providing this service they would be able to reduce risk and provide employers, employees and the general public with the confidence that they can freely conduct their day-to-day business without fear of Slips, Trips and Falls.
Slip Resistance Assessment falls under the area of Quality and this is something that CARIRI takes very seriously. Achieving quality standards is one of the most important issues in the
construction industry and the management of quality is an important factor in determining the competitive edge of any business. Quality is built in to every aspect of this new service and it is vital that companies recognize the importance of a proper quality system since it begins with selection, sampling and storage of materials used in the construction of walkways and floors.
As a certified and accredited testing facility, it is vital that CARIRI take the lead in bringing these key quality issues to the forefront. With over 30 years of experience, the Civil Engineering Unit is the most advanced ISO-certified civil/construction engineering testing laboratory in the Caribbean. CARIRI’s team of experienced professionals has provided testing and consultancy services to government ministries locally and within the region and to the construction, energy and light manufacturing sectors, among others.