Injuries caused by slip and fall incidents in the workplace sideline thousands of workers each year. They also negatively affect productivity. One of the preventive solutions that doesn’t get as much attention as it should is anti-slip tape. Workplace Material Handling & Safety talked to Heskins Ltd., one of the world’s foremost manufacturers of self-adhesive abrasive safety tape, to learn about the types of tape available, where they should be used, and about the company itself.
Heskins has been around since 1997. Who founded the company, and why? To what do you attribute the company’s longevity?
Heskins was founded in 1997 by Larry Longton. Our longevity is due to all colleagues pulling together. We are all united in that we like to provide extremely high levels of customer service; that value drives all of our operations.
One of your first products was Safety-Grip, an anti-slip tape. How has it changed over the years to meet the changing needs of facilities?
The original Safety-Grip is still proudly part of our range but since that time we have added so many variations, and we are constantly developing new products. Just as workplaces are evolving, it has been great to see our product evolve too, to meet their demands. We like to listen to what the clients want and provide solutions to their problems.
In what conditions or environments would Heskins’ Aqua-Safe and non-abrasive, anti-slip tape be found?
The non-abrasive materials are typically used in areas where pedestrians are barefoot. They are also an excellent choice for areas where easy cleaning is required or a customer cannot accept any grit, such as food preparation facilities.
Glow in the Dark (or photoluminescent) tape is used in situations where visibility is required in a lights-out area (dark stairwells are one example). Reflective products are perfect for preventing accidents by highlighting the product when light is shone on it. They are often used on vehicles.
Heskins also has tiles that are anti-slip as well as dual purpose. What are those two purposes? What makes the tiles anti-slip?
The tiles are a great shape for easy placement onto a surface. Our customers say they work really well and very convenient. As for the dual purpose aspect, they are available in a different combinations of glow in the dark, reflective and hazard warnings. They help warn pedestrians about a potential hazard, highlight risks and provide greater visibility.
Has Heskins’ line of safety signs changed over the years? What are some of the newer hazards or restrictions that it covers?
The signs constantly evolve. COVID presented us with a challenge for the workplace; within a matter of weeks we had to produce previously unseen quantities in new designs, the designs were produced within hours and then production started immediately. It filled us all with pride to see all of our colleagues working so hard and wanting to create something that would make a difference and help in the terrible pandemic.
Has Heskins’ had to adapt its other products to address issues related to the pandemic?
Obviously, the safety signs have been a major part of it but our marking materials (PermaStripe, PermaRoute and PermaLean) along with our hazard warning anti slip materials were in very heavy demand in that time. The demands placed on all of our co-workers was staggering for a period of two months, but we worked as team and that ensured that we did not fail any customers.
For more information about Heskins’ products, visit https://heskins.com/