Ensure outdoor floor tiles are slip-resistant

While visiting new and newly redeveloped projects lately, I increasingly see signs reading: "Caution, floor slippery when wet."

This is understandable if it is referring to polished floor tiles inside buildings during periods of routine cleaning.

However, most of the signs referred to the surfaces along the pathways and courtyards outside the buildings - areas that are regularly exposed to rainfall.

In some places, the outdoor tiles become as slippery as ice after rain. This exposes all pedestrians to the risk of broken or fractured bones as well as head injuries from sudden unexpected falls.

The Building and Construction Authority Code on Accessibility in the Built Environment clearly states that "floor surfaces shall be stable, firm, level and slip-resistant".

Enhanced enforcement of this provision in the code would help to ensure compliance in choosing the appropriate slip-resistant floor tiles and related materials, and reducing the risk of injury.

Similarly, a campaign to raise awareness among the decision-makers at both the design and material procurement stages would help.

Until then, members of the public will continue to be exposed to the risk of preventable injuries.

Thomas John Timlen

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 07, 2017, with the headline 'Ensure outdoor floor tiles are slip-resistant'. Print Edition | Subscribe