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Safety coatings are a smart bet

Most safety directors are all ears when you tell them that for what amounts to a drop in the bucket of their safety budget they can be making their facilities safer places to work. In fact, when we talk about safety coatings as a smart investment, the response we get the most often is something along the lines of “Yea. That makes sense.” And we agree.

Consider that according to OSHA, slips, trips and falls make up the majority of general industry accidents. They’re responsible for 15 percent of all accidental deaths, with only motor vehicle accidents causing more work-related fatalities. Safety coatings such as glow-in-the-dark urethanes and non-slip coatings are an easy, cost-efficient way to guard against slips and trips.

Safety Coatings

There are situations where non-slip coatings are mandated in general industry, shipyards, construction and marine settings, but the responsibility largely falls on safety-minded individuals to utilize safety coatings to their full potential. Forward-thinking safety professionals at power plants, refineries, manufacturing facilities and so on are recognizing the diversity of ways safety coatings can be put to use. Non-slip coatings on the tops of railcars and glow-in-the-dark coatings in the hulls of barges are examples of the expanding use of safety coatings.

Facility managers are increasingly exploring the potential benefits of glow-in-the-dark (luminescent) coatings for industrial settings. Considering that some countries are testing them for their usefulness on highways, it makes sense that they be used to illuminate important pathways or obstructions in the workplace. These coatings can be used to illuminate pathways to exits if a power outage or other emergency forces an evacuation. By storing energy from lights during working hours, particles within the coating are able to glow for some time after the lights go out.

In order for these luminescent coatings to stand up to the harshness of an industrial setting, it’s important that they’re not any off-the-shelf paint. An interior paint with a glowing pigment inside will quickly wear out under stress. When formulated from more durable material such as a urethane, these coatings are able to withstand greater abuse.

While, gallon for gallon, non-slip and luminescents may cost more other coatings, it’s possible to do a lot with a little. Painting a curb, line, arrow or overhead obstruction ends up being a cost-effective safety measure. And when it comes to worker safety, it’s a small price to pay.

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