At healthcare facilities and pharmaceutical labs, your flooring system is a necessary part of creating safe, sanitary conditions for employees, patients and anyone else. It must be easy to clean, resistant to heavy-duty chemicals and durable enough to withstand constant, heavy foot and machine traffic. Plus, some facilities may need to meet certain governmental requirements or regulations.
There’s a lot to consider prior to making a serious infrastructure decision such as your facility’s flooring system. Before committing, make sure to ask your contractor these five questions:
Is the Coating Compliant with Governmental or Industry Regulations?
Your flooring system must comply with requirements outlined by OSHA, the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and the CDC. According to these guidelines, floor coatings must be thick and durable enough to prevent microbe contamination and offer the proper slip resistance for your facility’s needs. Slip, trips and falls are dangerous and can lead to lawsuits and workers’ compensation issues. Your contractor should have knowledge of these requirements and be able to test for the proper coefficient of friction.
Some facility managers may have sustainability requirements in mind as well, such as the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) or the Green Guide for Health Care (GGHS). Your floor coating can contribute to meeting these certification requirements.
Does It Offer Anti-Microbial Properties?
You’ll also want to ask if the coating itself resists the proliferation of mold, mildew or other microbes that can be a health hazard or, if your facility is a lab, contaminate your product. In a hospital, emergency room or a specialized nursing facility, this is especially critical for protecting patients who are immunocompromised or at risk for infection. Certain flooring systems are formulated to resist microbes, support sanitation goals and keep your facility clean.
Is the Flooring System Chemical Resistant?
Whether you’re at a facility that requires heavy-duty cleaning or at a lab working with chemicals, your floor should withstand chemical corrosion. Corrosion can lead to serious (and hazardous) damage to your floors that may require costly repairs or lead to an unexpected shutdown. Keep things up and running with a tough, chemical-resistant coating.
Can Your Flooring System Withstand Constant Traffic?
Facilities in the healthcare industry experience around-the-clock traffic, ranging from foot traffic to rolling carts, gurneys and heavy equipment. Over time, this kind of traffic can damage an uncoated floor. Durability is a must in these environments – an industrial flooring system, like epoxy coatings and slurries, might make sense.
What Kind of Environment are You Cultivating?
Your flooring system can also contribute to the overall healing, calming ambiance required in healthcare environments such as hospitals or nursing facilities. Facility managers may explore sound-attenuating flooring systems that lower noise and echoing. Moreover, certain colors and patterns have been shown to offer psychological benefits. Working with an experienced contractor can help you identify the appropriate flooring system to support your facility’s overall environment.
These questions can help healthcare facility managers make an informed and thoughtful choice when it comes to choosing a flooring system. Your contractor should be able to anticipate and answer these questions, providing realistic flooring solutions to achieve your goals and uphold your long-term design investment.
Are you considering a new flooring system for your biomedical lab, hospital, doctor’s office or other healthcare facility? The Tenec team offers expertise on the various system properties that could make sense for your facility. Contact us for a quote.