Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Ian Quak Making Surfaces Safe

Surface Safety for industrial, commercial, domestic and marine environments - Ian Quak 
Ian Quak

What you do: 
Specialise in Environmental Anti-Slip Solutions for all industry sectors including; Commercial, Residential, Marine, Mining and Heavy Industry.

Short description of you business: 
We Provide anti-slip solutions for all floor types and our environmentally friendly range of products are both aesthetically pleasing and long lasting. With proven results in dramatically reducing the risk of slips, trips and falls, our range includes anti-slip coatings, slip resistant treatments, anti-slip tapes (grit, vinyl and rubber), stair nosings, tactiles, reflective tapes and floor care products . Our products are suited to surfaces like; concrete, timber, vinyl, fibreglass, plastics, metals, ceramic tiles, porcelain, marble, granite, terrazzo and natural stone. Our core products have been tested by the CSIRO to meet the Australian Standard for slip Resistance AS/NZS 4586. We have a range of colours and clears and can be used internally or externally. Our products are VOC compliant, low odour, and can be accelerated to dry faster. 

What brought you to creating this business? 
With the current WHS legislation, I noticed an increased responsibility for all sectors to ensure safety for employees and the general public. Plus, with over 85% of slips, trips and falls being preventable within Australia, I feel we can reduce this. I have a passion for safety and I believe together we can create a safer environment for our community. 

What do like most about your work? 
Dealing with people that share the same passion and concern for safety. I enjoy the application of the various products as well as experiencing the difference in surfaces and achieving the desired outcomes for injury prevention.

Is there a typical kind of person or business with whom you work?  
Our products suit all markets and are leaders in the manufacture of anti-slip solutions for the mining, marine, commercial and residential sectors. We have a wide range of products capable of solving any slip hazard on site. Majority of contacts are those responsible for safety ie. WHS or Safety Managers, Facilities Managers, Site Managers, Project Managers, HR Managers, General Managers and residential contacts.

What role do anti-slip products play in workplace safety?
Anti-slip products play a very important role in workplace safety. Under NSW legislation, businesses have a legal responsibility to provide a safe workplace for workers. Unfortunately this is often an area that is overlooked until a costly accident occurs. 

Are there common problems you see in how businesses have their workspaces set up? 

One of the most common problems I see in workshops/ warehouses is the lack of demarcated workspace. I see this as a important safety measure to put into place to make all stakeholders aware of specific areas in and around a site. It may be a machinery workshop where it could be very easy for a worker to be standing in the wrong place eg. At the rear of a machine which may be reversing. We can demarcate  areas like, pedestrian  walkways, vehicular access, general workspace and areas that must be keep free from anything at all times (eg fire exits, fire extinguishers, eye wash bays, first aid etc.). We use safety colours in these areas to make them very visible and much safer. The grit (anti-slip) level in the products can be altered to suit individual needs.

Another problem I see frequently in various businesses, is ‘slippery when wet’ signs or bollards at the entry of the building. Generally these surfaces are a highly polished tile  that have no slip prevention. All you need is for someone to be running towards the entry out of the rain, stop in the entry and slip on these polished surfaces.

It’s not only businesses that need to be aware of slip and fail prevention it is also a big concern around the home for protection of family and friends. In areas such as; decks, stairs, pool areas, driveways and bathrooms.

What would you suggest businesses look for when reviewing their operational safety?  
I would suggest they assess all hard surfaces for potential slip and fail hazards. In most situations businesses will wait for a slip or fail to occur before something is done. Prevention is better than cure. We will come to site to assess any areas of concern and come up with the best solution possible. We can work around the operational times of the business to ensure minimal downtime. 

What about  retail and service businesses... can they use anti-slip products too?   
Definitely, we have a range of products that suit these markets. We have treatments that can be used  on majority of surfaces that will not alter the appearance of the product, but provide far more resistance when wet. This process is very quick and areas can be operational immediately. We have some really smart looking clear coats that can be used with a fine grit that still meet AS4586 Pedestrian Slip Resistance. We are also constantly trialing and testing new products some of these specific to retail.   

Businesses are often looking to scrimp and not spend money they 'don't have to'.  Does it cost a lot to find out if there is a slip and fall risk in my business?
This can be done in house and the cost would only  be time or a business could engage an WHS consultant to do a safety audit. There are costs involved with this but the comparison to a long legal battle and a compensation payout are world apart. Without floors or stairs meeting Australian Standards a business could be exposing themselves to litigation.

What are some other places besides a commercial site where anti-slip products can be used with good results? 
Some of the other areas we are getting good results in are; Transport, Mining, Residential, Industrial, Military, Corrections, Oil And Gas, Hospitality, Aged Care, Manufacturing, Government, Shopping centres. We have a solution for all hard surfaces.

Do you have any tips for businesses looking to review their trip and fall hazards? 
Yes, don’t wait till an accident has happened be proactive and address hazards before it’s too late. If a business has any concerns we are more than happy to work with them to come up with the best solutions. We can conduct trials of different products to make sure they meet the needs of any business before the job is rolled out. 

What locations do you service? 
We cover Newcastle and the Hunter with partners Australia wide, which means if a business has multiple sites we can easily accommodate them.

How can people reach you if they would like to get advice on safe surface products? 
I can be contacted on 0404095734 or there is a contact us page on our website http://www.surfacesafe.com.au that can be filled out and we will get in touch within 24 hours.

Here's a article that appeared recently showing what can happen for a business when there is a slip and fall accident. It can be costly! See details here