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Shoppers are being warned be careful on slippery tiles outside Goldfields Mall in Thames after a man was injured. Photo: KELLEY TANTAU


A petition has been started to replace the tiles outside Thames’ shopping centre after a man passed out after slipping on them.
Stuart Floan was leaving The Warehouse at Goldfields Shopping Centre around 6.15pm on a Sunday when he was injured after a near-tumble on the tiles.
“I was carrying some boxes of firewood, and as I was walking, my left leg slid forward quite dramatically,” he recalled.
“I didn’t fall down, but strained or pulled something in my upper thigh. I made it to the car, and for some reason, my body went: ‘Wait a minute’. I managed to make it to the passenger seat and passed out.
“I think it was the shock to the system more than anything else,” he said. “In hindsight I thought maybe I would’ve been better just falling, rather than trying to save myself.”
Stuart started a poll on a Thames community noticeboard Facebook page saying he was starting a petition to get Goldfields Mall to replace the tiles at its entrance.
“It is only a matter of time until someone has a serious injury,” he wrote.
As of August 8, the poll had received 537 votes with a unanimous decision to “support change”.
“There has to be something done because if I fell over and I’m fit and able, for anybody else, it could be a nightmare,” he told The Profile.
“The bottom line is they need to change the tiles. If people don’t feel safe to walk in and out of the mall in wet weather, that’s not going to just impact Goldfields, that’ll impact on the shops in the mall as well.”
Goldfields manager John Freer acknowledged that recently, there had been “more issues” with the tiles, but they couldn’t apply any anti-slip coating until broken tiles around the mall had been replaced.
That work has recently been carried out, and further anti-slip coating will be applied to all of the tiles in the “next couple of weeks”.
“We replaced most of the exterior tiles around three years ago, and we did use what was the highest non-slip type available, but we know that different types of footwear when the tiles are wet can cause slips,” he said.
Mr Freer was not sure how long the anti-slip coating lasted on the tiles, but did say the warranty for the product covered five years.
“We make sure to put out signage when it’s raining, and I’ve also put additional mats down to try to absorb the water. We have taken precautions but people need to be careful,” he said. “Even with anti-slip, people still need to be careful when it’s wet.”
Stuart Floan said he will be presenting the online poll with its 500-plus votes to mall management.
Mr Freer welcomed the engagement.
“People are obviously concerned and showing an interest, so it’s good that people care,” he said.