Nex mall to replace floor studs after safety issue raised

Nex shopping mall is replacing metal floor studs (left) around its premises after a man complained that a section of the studs becomes slippery in wet weather. They are meant to warn the visually impaired of upcoming stairs or escalators, and are sit
Nex shopping mall is replacing metal floor studs (above) around its premises after a man complained that a section of the studs becomes slippery in wet weather. They are meant to warn the visually impaired of upcoming stairs or escalators, and are situated in sheltered and non-sheltered areas.ST PHOTO: DESMOND FOO

Small metal floor studs at Nex shopping mall meant to warn the visually impaired of upcoming stairs or escalators are set to be replaced after a customer reported slipping on them during wet weather.

Mr Billy Lui, 49, said his uncle was with a friend who skidded and fell on them just before they were to walk down a flight of stairs near the adjacent Serangoon MRT station earlier this month.

Although neither man was injured, Mr Lui - who works at a recreation centre - believes they could pose a safety risk, and alerted his local MP to the "urgent" matter.

"For the interest of the safety of the public, especially our vulnerable elderly citizens, I find it necessary to bring up this matter, especially what happened to my uncle's friend," said Mr Lui, adding that he had also slipped on them several months earlier.

Nex said that Mr Lui was the first person to complain about the studs, which were approved by the Land Transport Authority and installed in compliance with the Building and Construction Authority's Code on Barrier-Free Accessibility.

But a spokesman for the mall said: "Nex will look into measures that address the issue highlighted.

"Nex's operations team is now working with the relevant authorities to look into viable options on the replacement of the studs."

Mr Seah Kian Peng (Marine Parade GRC), who received Mr Lui's complaint, told The Straits Times that he spoke to Nex's management about the issue.

"Yes, these stainless studs could be slippery during rainy days," Mr Seah said.

"The mall owner has informed me that they will be reviewing all the areas that are exposed to weather elements within their building boundary and see how best to convert to other types of studs that are non-slippery."

The studs - about 4cm in diameter - are situated in both sheltered and non-sheltered areas, and when ST visited Nex on a rainy day last week, the studs flagged by Mr Lui were partially wet from customers walking on them with wet footwear. But shoppers appeared to have no problems walking over them.

Said Mr Lui: "Of course, I feel delighted that my feedback on this issue, which I saw as urgent, is now being looked into by Nex and the MP."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 30, 2019, with the headline 'Nex mall to replace floor studs after safety issue raised'. Print Edition | Subscribe