The metals and mining industries are among the most dangerous industries in the United States. Steel foundries, iron foundries, and copper foundries are in the top ten industries with non-fatal workplace injuries and illnesses in the U.S. (Kurtzleben, 2012). According to the National Safety Council, each lost workday costs almost $35,000 between worker compensation, loss in production, medical bills and other costs.
Slips and falls are the second leading cause of accidents in metal finishing facilities. So, what exactly causes so many injuries? While metal and wood products are conventionally used, they add unnecessary risk to metal and mining facilities. Have you ever noticed the walking surfaces in these facilities at times are rusted, slippery, and possibly even corroded? This is because the chemicals used in metal and mining plants are highly corrosive taking a large toll on wood, metal, and concrete surfaces.
Metal walking surfaces can rust to the point of failure without any notice – an extremely dangerous scenario in an already high risk industry. While this is the worst case scenario, even less dramatic changes in walking surfaces made with wood, metal, and/or concrete can, also, be dangerous. The day-to-day wear from traffic in addition to the corrosive environment can make walkways slippery. Slip resistant coatings can be applied but will eventually wear away.
In order to design the safest, most reliable facility for your workers, you need to explore alternative building material solutions for walking surfaces. Fiberglass reinforced plastic (FRP) products have been growing in popularity in the metal and mining industry. FRP manufactured by Fibergrate is extremely corrosion resistant; in fact, Fibergrate FRP grating has even been used to create a basket that is submerged to retrieve parts from chemical dipping tanks.
The slip resistant surfaces of Fibergrate® Composite Structures' grating and stair solutions are extremely reliable in any industry. Slip resistant coatings and tapes wear away, but Fibergrate grating, stair treads, and plate are able to maintain their slip resistance. This reduces the number of accidents and cuts downtime caused by maintenance. Fibergrate FRP walking surfaces do not wear like slip resistant paints or tapes cutting accidents and down time caused by maintenance.
In addition, the slight resiliency in FRP grating allows for a more comfortable work station. The ergonomic design can reduce the number of long-term, overuse injuries workers develop from standing for long periods of time.
There are several other benefits of FRP that make it the favorable material choice for the metal and mining industries as well as various other markets. Make sure to explore them today!