Composite Decking In the Workplace
Although decking is primarily associated with being a common installation of a back garden, it is not a product that is specialised for any particular purpose or location. Decking is basically just a hard wearing product that is mounted on a base to form a versatile platform. A platform which doesn’t have to be confined to either a residence or garden. The concept of adding decks to work places is becoming much more common and are a primary choice for architects, landscapers, construction companies and company owners with an eye for design.
Why have a deck at work?
Well why not? The people in the company are not an alien species. They are the same people that go home and enjoy their gardens, probably while sitting on their own deck. If they can have a similar experience at the office they will be more comfortable in the workplace and enjoy their time whilst there. Keeping staff happy is important for a number of reasons, not just because you want them to walk around smiling, which is a bonus but if they are satisfied where they are they won’t be tempted to leave. Replacing staff members is a big expense with recruitment costs, coupled with the downtime when they are training to do the job.
The simple addition of a composite decking area can be an area to retreat to for breaks, lunch and even to let off steam if the day has not been going well. The attractive, clean lines of the installation can be an effective place for relaxation.
When choosing a composite deck, it’s important to consider any potential hazards that could be caused. In fact a full health and safety analysis should be carried out. The primary hazard with a deck is the scope to cause trips and falls, the most reported accident in the workplace and a significant source of compensation claims by employees. Anything that can be done to reduce these is a good thing for everybody. Composite decking is manufactured to have anti-slip properties which gives reassurance to both company bosses and employees. Even in wet weather, composite decking retains its anti-slip surface. A number of these incidents led to secondary injuries such as falling into machinery, dropping items and burns. Employees who suffer from these workplace accidents are strongly encouraged to make a claim for compensation. With the number of no win no fee solicitors who will take on these cases, the claims are often successful. It is important for businesses to put measures in place to properly protect their staff.
Improve the style of the whole building
A composite deck has a positive effect on a company as a whole. Its visibility from inside an office can give a more appealing view of the outside. This will have a positive impression on neighbouring companies as well as visitors. To further improve the appearance a composite deck can be made to reflect the corporate image of the business. Composite decking boards are able to be supplied in a variety of colours and can be produced to reflect the specific branding of the business. With the right planning, a corporate logo could easily be incorporated into the design.
Composite decking stays as good as new.
How an external deck will be maintained at work has to be factored in to the planning and the risk assessment. If a timber deck is installed it is likely that there would have to be provisions for it to be closed during wet weather and remain closed until it had been assessed as suitably dry to be safe. Instead of providing enjoyment for employees, this is more likely to be a point of frustration.
A similar scenario will arise when the timber deck has to be closed off for the array of maintenance that is required to keep it in good order. It is recommended that at least annually the deck is sanded to remove and surface damage and existing varnish that has been applied. A new layer of woodstain can then be applied, followed by the varnish or wax which will help to keep the water out of the timber. For a commercial installation this could take a number of weeks and remove access to the deck. As maintenance can only be carried out in good weather, this is exactly the time when staff will be most excited about using it, or most disappointed about not using it. Composite decks, other than a simple surface clean, don’t require any annual maintenance and are therefore not going to have any downtime when they can’t be used.
Although gaining in popularity, commercial decking is still relatively uncommon, by incorporating an decked area into an outdoor space there is a real opportunity to produce something different which many people, both employees and visitors, are unlikely to have seen in other businesses.