22 December 2006

Gradus Accessories has launched a brand new range of stair edgings, developed in line with the latest industry research to help reduce the risks of stair related accidents and to meet the guidance in Approved Document M (ADM) of The Building Regulations to help building owners meet their duties in line with the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA).

The new XT range, which is designed to complement Gradus’ existing stair edging offer, features fourteen aluminium profiles covering the most popular step shapes, and incorporates 55mm treads with both 40mm and 55mm risers to suit the guidance in ADM. Available in 11 colours to offer a wide range of colour contrast to the surrounding floorcovering, the insert in the XT stair edgings extends round the leading edge of the profiles to ensure that feet are always in contact with the slip resistant element of the edging itself. Eight profiles are now available with a further six profiles being launched in January 2007.

The XT range was developed by Gradus following research undertaken by the Building Research Establishment (BRE), which was jointly funded by the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister (ODPM) and the Health and Safety Executive. The research investigated the dynamics of pedestrian stair use. With one hundred people dying and over 100,000 being injured every year in the UK as a result of falls on non-domestic stairs, the research looked at how tread sizes, different materials, and the use of proprietary nosings effects stair safety.

Results showed that users prefer stairs with larger treads and that as the size of these decreases and the available friction is reduced, the user oversteps onto the nosing meaning the contact area between the shoe and the stair is dramatically reduced. This results in the increased likelihood of the foot slipping off the nosing, which may lead to an irrecoverable misstep and a potentially serious fall.

Following the research, the resulting BRE IP 15/03 Proprietary Nosing For Non-Domestic Stairs report suggested that the risk of slip to the user may be reduced by the introduction of larger treads that would reduce the risk of overstepping, and also by an increase in the available friction at the nosing (edge of the step) to encourage the foot to rock back on the tread resulting in better weight distribution.

The XT range addresses the second of these recommendations with the slip-resistant inserts that extend round the leading edge of the stair edging, ensuring maximum safety underfoot. The inserts in the XT range are held securely in place by a combination of a locking mechanism in the profile design, plus a new improved adhesive bond for additional strength.

Steve Watt, Managing Director of Gradus explains: “ The new adhesive system for use on the XT stair edgings gives a quality bond strength between the channel and the insert that can only be broken if it is completely destroyed. It also allows us to better manipulate the different shapes we make and address the health and safety issues of people walking on the leading edge of the stair.”

Steve Watt continues: “This product offers peace of mind to architects, specifiers and end users. It has no specialist handling requirements in terms of cutting, drilling or processing and also doesn’t require any additional installation skills. Fitting in with the latest guidelines and research means that we now have the best product of its type on the market.”

He added: “We are confident that this new range will have a strong appeal to building owners and specifiers and with six more profiles planned for the new year, we are sure the popularity of the range will also continue to grow as more products are added.”

For more information on any Gradus products please contact Gradus on 01625 428 922 or log on to

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