Updated Health and Safety Executive (HSE) guidelines have stressed how demarcation is a key part of ensuring social distancing in the workplace during the current coronavirus situation.

Most businesses are using temporary barriers and signage to ensure the safety of their staff and customers.

But with the likelihood of coronavirus remaining a part of people’s work and private lives there’s a need to introduce or retrofit more permanent solutions.

Clear demarcation in retail, office and production environments

Whether a retail, office or production environment, the same information has to be provided visually to ensure employees and customers or visitors are reminded to maintain their distance from each other.

Earlier this month the government’s HSE introduced updated guidelines. “Social distancing means keeping people apart to help reduce the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19). Where possible, you should keep people 2m apart,” it states.

Robert Hawgood, Managing Director of Studmarc, a specialist provider of architectural and tactile studs, explains how studs are one way to integrate permanent Covid-19 social distancing solutions into these such situations.

“We’ve all seen the temporary measures put in place, such as high-vis tape on the floor, arrows, barriers and even road cones. But it’s becoming quite obvious that the situation is going to continue for some time, so more permanent solutions are needed.

“One part of that is the use of architectural and tactile studs, particularly in workplaces such as retail, showrooms and public facing areas, in addition to offices, communal areas and receptions.

Direction and social distancing measures

“You can replicate the same information to guide people in a direction or to ensure they stay in a designated area through demarcation that is aesthetically pleasing and blends in with the working environment.

“For example, studs on a floor can be used to create a ‘path’ to a certain part of a room or building. Take a car showroom, visitors can visually see the route they should take to reach a reception area from the doorway with raised studs.

“Not only are the studs visual, but as they can be felt underfoot, they provide an instant tactile alert that makes a person look down. Studs can have symbols on them, such as arrows and numbers, which provide additional information.

“You not only have an instant method for demarking a footway, studs provide an architectural enhancement.”

The HSE in its updated Covid-19 social distancing guidance states: “Use floor markings to mark out social distancing. Focus particularly on the most crowded areas, for example, where queues form, entry points to buildings, toilets and communal break areas.”

External road studs for access routes

Mr Hawgood said external areas, such as paths or access routes to workplaces, whether a retail or office site, can also be marked out with road studs.

“Again, we’ve all seen temporary barriers, cones and vinyl tape marking out external areas for people to follow. These become worn and untidy and because they are temporary, they are often moved or become more of a hazard.

“Installing road studs create a similar solution to internal and tactile studs. They provide a clear route to follow underfoot and, again, are tactile with non-slip versions.

“These can be laid out in a range of ways to ensure guidance is clear.”

There are several different types of studs for different purposes:

You can find out more detail about these different varieties here.

Studmarc is based near Newtown, Powys, where its team can be contacted on 01686 689198 or by email [email protected]. Its full range of studs can be found at www.studmarc.com.

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