Background: Tobyhanna Army Depot (TYAD), located in Tobyhanna, PA, is a military logistics center employing several thousand Soldiers and Civilians.
In 2016 Building 2 was constructed to house offices and the Depot Mess Hall. Hundreds of Soldiers and Civilian workers daily traverse the new concrete stairs with extruded aluminum treads (set in the concrete) to enter and exit Building 2.
Problem: The new aluminum treads provided adequate traction but TYAD Safety Personnel received complaints, especially from employees with vision issues, that the new stairs were not safe due to poor visibility. It was discovered that the aluminum treads blended into the concrete making it difficult to see the edge of each step.
The initial solution was to apply a coating of paint to the aluminum treads. This was a low cost approach but was rejected after it was determined the paint provided no traction, poor adhesion to aluminum and had started to peal and look unsightly in less than a week.
Solution: TYAD personnel determined they needed a solution with the following attributes –
- Excellent visibility
- Easily installed by TYAD personnel
- Permanent adhesion to aluminum
- Chemically resistant to “Ice Melt” (calcium chloride)
- Maintains or improves slip resistance of existing tread
- Long term durability in heavy foot traffic and outdoor environment
Form-A-Tread® Safety Yellow, a 100% epoxy based material containing slip resistant properties and UV inhibitor was selected. A 1” wide stripe was installed directly onto the existing aluminum tread, ½ from the front edge of the step. Stairs are exposed to heavy foot traffic and weather extremes so Tread Grit® HD (Heavy Duty) was applied for additional traction and durability.
Installation Time: Under 2 hours. Surface preparation consisted of removing dirt and loose paint with a wire brush. Form-A-Tread Safety Yellow was installed in the late afternoon and allowed to cure overnight. Steps were ready to receive foot traffic by 6AM the next morning. Temperature of install area = 70 to 85°F.
Cost and Useful Life: Total material cost = $195. Useful Life estimate is over 5 years.
Summary: Traction was maintained and visibility was greatly improved on the Building 2 steps. Safety Office reports they have received extremely positive feedback from TYAD personnel.