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Form Over Function Causes Injuries


A Borough Council has committed a cardinal sin when it comes to new street works, putting too much focus on form and forgetting about function and safety…

In the realm of street works, the balance between form and function is of utmost importance. Unfortunately, a recent incident involving a Welsh Borough Council has shed light on the consequences of prioritising form over function and neglecting public safety. The council’s decision to disregard guidelines for public safety and create camouflaged surfaces split over two levels has resulted in over 20 reported injuries since installation. In this blog post, we will explore the implications of this oversight and present a simple yet effective solution to prevent such accidents in the future.

The Cardinal Rule of Working with Steps: One of the cardinal rules when working with steps is to highlight the leading edge. This crucial guideline ensures that pedestrians can clearly perceive changes in level, minimising the risk of trips and falls. However, the aforementioned Borough Council blatantly disregarded this rule, resulting in a hazardous situation for pedestrians. The consequences of their decision have been unfortunate, with numerous individuals suffering injuries due to the lack of visibility and awareness of the step changes.

The Solution: Differentially Colored Anti-Slip Tape: Thankfully, the solution to this safety issue is relatively straightforward. By implementing a differentially coloured strip on the leading edge, the council could have easily resolved the problem.

Heskins, a leading provider of safety solutions, often installs anti-slip tape strips in yellow, black/yellow, or other contrasting colours, specifically on the edge. This simple measure effectively marks and informs users about changes in level, mitigating the risk of accidents. The coloured anti-slip tape serves as a visual cue, alerting pedestrians to the presence of steps and providing a clear indication of potential hazards.

The Power of Colored Anti-Slip Tape: Colored anti-slip tape is a versatile tool that can address various safety concerns beyond skid prevention. Its highly visible nature helps draw attention to potential risks and ensure that individuals navigate spaces safely. By strategically applying different colors of anti-slip tape, hazards such as steps, ramps, or uneven surfaces can be clearly marked, significantly reducing the likelihood of accidents. This cost-effective solution offers a practical and efficient way to enhance safety in public areas.

Taking Steps Towards Safety: The case of the Welsh Borough Council serves as a reminder of the critical importance of prioritising public safety in street works. By adhering to established guidelines and implementing effective safety measures, local authorities can prevent accidents and protect their constituents. The application of differentially coloured anti-slip tape is a prime example of a simple intervention that can have a profound impact on pedestrian safety. It is essential for councils and decision-makers to recognise the significance of these measures and take proactive steps to ensure the well-being of the public.

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The negligence displayed by the Welsh Borough Council in prioritising form over function and public safety is a stark reminder of the consequences that can arise from overlooking essential guidelines. However, the incident also highlights the potential for simple solutions to mitigate such risks. Implementing differentially coloured anti-slip tape on steps and other potential hazards can significantly enhance safety and reduce the occurrence of accidents. As responsible stakeholders, let us learn from this unfortunate incident and prioritise safety above all else in our street works, ensuring that our public spaces are safe and accessible for all.



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