Industry Insights



Ramp-effect-vs-clearly-defined-edgesVISUAL RAMP EFFECT

Why is it a threat to stair safety and how can it be avoided?

When stairways appear more like a ramp rather than series of clearly defined stair treads, they can pose a threat to safety. "Ramp Effect" significantly increases the chance of mis-stepping and falling forward, which can result in serious injury.

In the absence of adequate visual cues, a stairway is navigated more by expectation rather than positive identification of the treads' actual position.

What contributes to ramp effect?

1) Stairs with uniform colour.

2) No contrasting colour on the stair edge.

3) Poor lighting. 

Which type of stairs are most prone to ramp effect?

1) Steel open grate industrial treads.

2) Stairs with painted treads.



How to avoid visual ramp effect 

The best way to avoid ramp effect is to aim for a luminance contrast of at least 30%.



stair-nosing-depths-industry-insights-blog-no-baseStair Nosing Depths - what's best?

Is it ok to choose the minimum stair nosing depth as specified by Australian standards?

Many people ask this when aiming to minimise costs, but there are many factors to consider when deciding the depth of stair nosings.

Australian Standards require all stair nosings to have a depth of at least 50mm. When on a mission to reduce costs it can be tempting merely to comply with requirements, but there are reasons why narrow nosings can compromise functionality, safety and longevity - drawbacks that will ultimately cost more money.

The best approach is to select a depth that achieves the optimum balance between economy and performance.




skateboarder-urban-environment400x583Skateboards, Rollerblades and Bikes:

Deterring the stunts that render our urban environment hazardous and unsightly.

Unprotected, exposed edges in the urban environment often suffer damage as a result of stunts performed by skateboarders, roller-bladers and BMXers. In some cases, the repeated abuse of assets results in their eventual destruction.  Damage to the unprotected edges of seating, walls, ramps, steps, garden beds and handrails, can render the surrounding area unattractive and hazardous to users.



Rubber Flooring

The perils of buying cheap imports: what are the financial and health implications?

Rubber flooring is an ideal floor covering for gyms, creches, offices and retail outlets as it is sound absorbent, slip resistant, shock absorbent and easy to clean.  Selecting the right product is crucial if you want a robust floor covering with a long service life. Avoiding products that emit dangerous levels of toxic fumes and carcinogens is vitally important if you want to ensure that your floor covering does not compromise the health and safety of staff and patrons.

Many of the cheaper rubber flooring products sourced from countries such as China, emit high levels of toxins including aromatic hydrocarbons, ethers, aldehydes, ketones, halocarbons and phenols. Not only do these products generate unpleasant odours, they also off-gas unacceptable levels of VOCs known to have adverse effects on human health. Even when produced in Australia, the use of low quality raw materials will lead to the same outcome. Please contact ABS West to find out more.

Installing low quality products increases the likelihood of rapid wear and tear.  Inferior products often come with a significantly shorter lifespan. Their accelerated demise leads to greater costs associated with frequent repairs, ongoing maintenance and premature replacement.

Ultimately, the most cost-effective approach is to install quality rubber flooring products that benefit from the highest quality manufacturing processes.  Products that are world renowned for their quality include everrollĀ® Rubber Flooring and RegupolĀ® Acoustic Underlays.  These products are manufactured in Germany in accordance with the highest standards (ISO 9001 + ISO 14001 Click here for the Certificate). Strict adherence to these standards delivers a product with longevity, superior performance and low emission levels.



Multi-occupancy Buildings:

The Solution to Minimizing Impact Sound Transmission

369HayStMulti-residential living is becoming ever popular in Western Australia, with an increasing demand for dwellings in or close to the city.  For many, it's a lifestyle choice fuelled by the desire to live near work, recreational facilities and social hubs. The convenience of a centralized location often means living in multi-residential dwellings such as apartments or adjoining town houses.

Apartment living offers many appealing advantages, however one of the most important considerations when contemplating this lifestyle is acoustics. Impact generated sound transmission between adjoining properties can seriously affect occupants' enjoyment levels. Each property owner has a responsibility to ensure that the level of noise transmission between dwellings does not violate the Building Code of Australia (BCA).  The same obligations apply to owners of multi-storey commercial buildings such as office towers and hotels. 

The current trend towards hard floor coverings such as timber, bamboo and ceramics presents greater challenges for property owners.  The impact sound from these hard surfaces is significantly greater than from carpet or vinyl.  To counteract this problem, it's necessary to ensure that hard floor coverings are installed over a suitable acoustic underlay, capable of absorbing enough impact sound to comply with the BCA.  In new constructions, if the impact sound rating does not conform at the point of handover, it means the whole building isn't code compliant and contractually, the flooring installer can be held responsible.

Likewise, if a private property owner fails to take adequate measures to limit sound transmission between neighbouring properties, they can find themselves on the receiving end of complaints.  In this situation, they can be forced to rectify the problem by lifting existing flooring to install BCA compliant underlay.  Retrofitting suitable underlay costs thousands more than an initial investment in quality acoustic underlay, prior to flooring installation.



Tactile Indicators / TGSI:

What you need to know

tactiles on entryTactile Ground Surface Indicators ( TGSI ) are everywhere in the public environment: on waiting platforms, at pedestrian crossings, ramps and stairs etc. Most people understand the role tactiles play in assisting vision impaired pedestrians to navigate the urban landscape and avoid hazards. What's less understood about tactiles is the need for precision when it comes to placement, colour, size and quality.

Vision impaired pedestrians rely on consistency for accurate interpretation of the cues provided by tactiles. Complying with Australian Standards is an essential part of the product selection and installation process.  To maintain consistency, a number of factors need to be considered: