The importance of pedestrian and shared areas in our cities is being increasingly realised. Pedestrian and shared areas must be designed with the pedestrian in mind, as the alternative can be hazardous. The risk of slips, trips and falls in poorly designed pedestrian areas is high, and the legal consequences of these accidents can be extreme. While designers must consider many different stakeholders when designing pedestrian and shared areas, the needs of pedestrians must come first.
Pedestrians’ greatest risk in external areas is slipping, tripping or falling. Designers can, and must, minimise these risks in their designs. Overly bumpy or steep pedestrian spaces will create trip hazards, particularly for the elderly, disabled and children. One consideration that often leads to steep or bumpy spaces is the need for surface water management. Slips, trips and falls can also occur on an even surface if the surface material has inadequate slip resistance. Without proper surface water management, water pooling will occur, which creates a risk of accidents.
Overly wide slots in drainage grates pose risks to pedestrians. At best, they will require women (wearing small heels) to walk over the grate, which is not necessarily convenient or pedestrian friendly. At worst, the heel may fall or become trapped in the grate, which could cause the shoe to be broken, the woman to fall and to suffer serious injury. Designers must balance the need to protect small heels with the necessity of collecting surface water.
In this white paper, presented by ACO and Specifier, we look at the design challenges of integrating drainage into pedestrian friendly external areas, and how these challenges can be met using ACO’s Heelsafe® Anti-Slip grates.
ACO Polycrete Pty Ltd
Ph. 1300 765 226