Slips, Trips and Falls 2016
A key aim of the UKSRG is to promote a better understanding of slip resistance, so early in 2016, the group decided to arrange and host a conference. The premise was simple in design, if not execution; bring together experts in pedestrian safety from around the world, provide the necessary platform for a stream of informative presentations and seminars, and attract an audience, both commercial and academic, that would benefit from a better understanding of the science.
The location was set at the newly refurbished Farmers and Fletchers hall in the heart of the City of London, providing both excellent transport links and an excuse for international visitors to extend their stay. The venue provided space for sponsor’s stands, room for networking, and importantly just enough seating in the hall for the audience we attracted.
A new website was developed specifically for the conference, providing delegates, sponsors and speakers with all the necessary information on venue, speakers, topics, itinerary etc. On launch the website accelerated the supply of conference papers, requiring careful consideration of the itinerary to shoehorn the desired speakers in to an ever-tighter schedule. Whilst initially proving difficult, this ultimately resulted in more concise presentations, and a better experience for the audience.
The conference was truly international, with speakers from across Europe and further afield from the US, Canada and Australia. The roster was further bolstered by many UKSRG members. The backgrounds of speakers varied as much as their geography, from those conducting laboratory research with cutting edge equipment and techniques, through those heading up companies offering the best in slip prevention products and services, to those representing industry/safety groups. The group sought to ensure a balance between academic and commercial focus, and feedback suggests this balance was well struck.
Alongside speakers in the main hall, sponsor’s stands were erected in the breakout areas, allowing a more commercial networking opportunity with those companies seeking to actively prevent slips. The headline sponsor Classic Marble used the opportunity to launch their SENSTEC anti-slip shower trays. Products from stair nosings to footwear, safety flooring to test equipment, and services from forensic investigation to lawyers, surface testing to risk assessment, were showcased. The sponsors alone offered a mind-boggling variety of expert advice on the subject of slips.
The presentations were as varied as the geography of the speakers, following a themed order throughout the two days. Topics covered were; cutting-edge laboratory-based research, falls from height, practical aspects of slip trip and fall risk reduction, barefoot slip resistance, ergonomics biomechanics and falls on stairs. The huge array of topics and information provided ensured that both those with a high-level understanding of slips trips and falls, and those approaching the subject cold, would develop their knowledge.
A conference isn’t really a conference without a slap-up meal, and the group delivered here too, with the magnificent surroundings of the Ironmonger’s Hall. After a day filled with presentations and networking, delegates, speakers and sponsors had a chance to unwind with pre-dinner drinks, a full three-course meal and after dinner entertainment.
Aims for the conference were to promote a better understanding of slips trips and falls, promote the group, and generate additional revenue for the group. Feedback suggests the conference was a success, with both delegates and speakers commenting on the slick operation and content of the conference. The group has benefitted financially, allowing it to continue its own research efforts and further develop the services the group can offer, in turn further developing the understanding of slips.
We thank our sponsors from the conference:
- Grip Potential
- Forbo Flooring
- The Tile Association
- Quantum Flooring Solutions
- Safer Grip
- Munro Instruments
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