The products you’ve never heard of but could’ve changed your life

Posted on 8 Feb 2019 by Maddy White

Countless products and processes form part of everyday life, yet we remain ignorant to many of them, even though some in cases are life-saving.

“Last year, we treated Queens Park Rangers’ stadium entrance and exits. They were having up to multiple claims a year of people slipping and hurting themselves,” Jonathan Hamp, MD at Thermapply told The Manufacturer.

He says, “We treated their steps last year [pre season], and fortunately they have not had a single incidence since. Stadiums in this country are notoriously dangerous because of their structure. We are the only company who provide a cost-effective, anti-slip solution that works, it is completely unique.”

The business treated the steps at the QPR stadium - image courtesy of Depositphotos.
The business treated the steps at the QPR stadium – image courtesy of Depositphotos.

Thermapply is a UK business that manufactures CheckerSafe, a thermoplastic anti-slip coating specifically designed to eliminate slip and skid issues on checkerplate steel, aluminium and concrete surfaces. It is suitable for use inside and outside of public and commercial buildings, with the product’s formula patented in the UK, US and Europe.

According to HSE, the highest proportion (31%) of the 555,000 non-fatal injuries that happen each year at work occur because of a slip, trip or fall.

The award-winning anti-slip coating is designed to improve the frictional characteristics of a surface or any areas where there is a potential risk of accident due to worn or slippery surfaces. Steps to transport systems, carparks, ramps and walkways, to name a few.

It is highly likely that at some point you will have interacted with the business’s product. It is the sensible way to avoid common but arguably largely avoidable incidents.

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Case study: Hostile vehicle mitigation systems

You may not have heard of Heald Ltd, or know what hostile vehicle mitigation systems are. But, the company designs and manufactures these public safety solutions that could reduce the threat of terrorist attacks.

Heald manufacture hostile mitigation systems - image courtesy of Heald.
Heald manufacture hostile mitigation systems – image courtesy of Heald.

For over 25 years, Heald has supplied some of the world’s most high-profile sites with advanced physical protection against hostile vehicle attacks.

The Hornsea-based business’s global portfolio includes some of the most prolific buildings in the world; palaces, embassies, border controls, airports, oil refineries, military sites, banks, presidential buildings and many more.

Barriers, bollards, roadblocks and traffic control, all form solutions that Heald has designed and manufactured previously. 

For such precise and highly advanced safety solutions, there is certainly no ‘one size fits all’ approach, each and every case requires a bespoke design and manufacture.

Traditional preventative measures such as non-slip paints or tapes are according to Hamp, “not effective”, due to their inability to retain their anti-slip properties for a prolonged period of time. A “quick fix” solution at best, that requires constant replacement, resulting in unnecessary risk and costly ongoing maintenance.

The patented anti-slip material - image courtesy of Thermapply.
The patented anti-slip material – image courtesy of Thermapply.

The unique formula the company uses combines heavy duty thermoplastic with added aggregate, which is odourless, nontoxic, and has been rigorously tested. The business also has a heavy duty industrial version, and one for children’s playground markings.

To bond the treatment to the surface, it is fused with heat, resulting in a permanent waterproof and airtight bonded finish. An additional benefit of using CheckerSafe is the ability to incorporate numbers, letters, logos and warning messages.

Today Hamp is on his way to the Open Air Theatre in Regents Park to check the final area size of the access steps, he says, “This project must be completed and operational by the middle of April, as that is when the summer season starts.”

He adds, “We have put the product into many different sectors though, for example supermarket distribution centres, where forklift trucks are quickly moving in and out of warehouses. We have been recognised for our product, and we are trying to educate people of the importance of using it in their business.

“For example, it is not good enough to ignore the potential risks to people because a business has insurance to cover claims. Cars have to be insured, but drivers still mitigate risk wherever they can.”