Altro, the leading manufacturer of maritime safety flooring Altro Transflor Gallium™, has launched a new guide for shipbuilders to ensure the products they use conform to the strictest safety standards.
The guide, ‘Safety at Sea’, outlines the latest legislative requirements for marine flooring under IMO regulations and the Maritime Equipment Directive (MED), guides to prevent slip and trip accidents, and advice on minimising risks for crew and passengers.
Simon Andrews, maritime sales manager at Altro, comments: “According to the Maritime and Coastguard Agency, slips and trips account for 26%, and falls a further 11%, of all ‘lost time’ accidents at sea. In the UK, whether ashore or afloat, such major accidents cost employers over £300million each year. Much of this could be avoided by specifying anti-slip flooring.
Surprisingly, most flooring in use in the maritime sector isn’t slip resistant. This is why we developed the ‘Safety at Sea’ guide – we wanted to give shipbuilders simple advice to preventing accidents, and also guidance on the type of accreditations they need to be aware of to ensure the products they specify are the safest possible.”
Following considerable research and over 400 fire and smoke tests, Altro, with the help of New World First Ferries in Hong Kong, developed a new product specifically for the maritime sector. Altro Transflor Gallium is the first safety flooring that is fully compliant with strict MED and IMO Fire Test Procedures (IMO FTP) Code requirements, which also provides first-class hygiene protection to reduce the spread of germs.
Simon Andrews continues: “We know there is a lot of confusion about testing standards for flooring and the legislation shipbuilders need to be aware of. Maritime operators do need to be aware that there is considerable disparity in test results between test houses, which receive no guidance or direction from the IMO on the exact analytical procedure to use when testing.
Until a standard which all testing houses have to follow is introduced, unsuitable products could be technically certified as safe to use. With ship operators having a duty of care to protect passengers and crew, the implications of specifying an inferior product that may not meet fire resistance and anti-slip standards could be major. All those operating in the marine industry need to be aware of what regulations they need to comply with so they can help protect the safety of those on-board.”