How to Prevent Slips & Falls
Approximately 50% of slip-and-fall accidents are caused by unsafe and dirty floors, followed by fraudulent claims, inappropriate footwear, insufficient employee training and inadequate hazard identification.
Slip-and-fall accidents can potentially cost a company millions in legal settlements, in addition to causing injury to guests and employees. Just take a look at this example.
In most cases, these accidents could have been prevented by implementing an enforceable program which addresses spills immediately, removes other potential hazards and captures contaminants.
This is the reason it is so important for facility managers to work closely with their commercial cleaning company to implement an extensive program that accounts for all factors that contribute to these accidents such as matting placement, floor type, maintenance frequency and cleaning schedules.
Creating a program to ensure safe floors
Over time, a floor can quickly accumulate dirt and debris which increase the chance of accidents as the contaminates get pushed into semi-porous substrates like tile or granite in a process known as polymerization.
The most crucial factor for increasing the slip resistance of any floor is maintenance and cleaning. Facility managers can enhance the overall safety of employees and guests by creating a safe floor program which involves –
Cleaning & Maintenance
Ensure your cleaners have a floor cleaning schedule in place that is sufficient to meet the demands of the building. At the very least, floors should be cleaned before and after peak business hours.
Modern cleaning equipment should be used to boost effectiveness of cleaning protocols. To effectively eliminate liquids and particles from all parts of the building, use microfiber mops often. Ensure cleaners place ideal signage throughout areas that aren’t dry yet after daily cleanings, to warn employees and guests, and reduce potential accidents.
Be aware that mopping does not sufficiently clean a floor, particularly in environments with high foot traffic. In order to keep soils and contaminants from accumulating on the floor, perform agitation using deck brushing or an auto scrubber for larger segments.
Another important factor is to ensure your cleaner has been trained to use floor care chemicals effectively at the proper dilution. For inventory control and added safety, wall-mounted chemical dispensing units are helpful. Your cleaning company should be providing ongoing training to the staff member allocated to you in order to ensure the job is done properly.
It’s important to use frequency checklists to document each time the floor is cleaned so other members of the team can track when the area was last cleaned. It also assists with insurance reports and reduces the chances of liability if an accident does occur.
Additionally, your cleaning company should be stripping back the floor periodically and applying a NFSI certified floor protector such as 3M Stone Floor Protector to improve the look, prolong the life and increase the anti-slip properties of the floor.
Proper Use of Mats
Strategically placed mats is an efficient way to decrease accidents by absorbing water and trapping dirt before it gets into the facility. Facility managers should locate the floor zones where mats are needed most, to assess mat placement. For example, high-risk areas would include the main entrance and any other high-traffic areas
In addition to placement, cleanliness and maintenance should also be a priority. Make sure your cleaners vacuum and dry the mats appropriately. They should also be replaced on a regular basis since poorly maintained matting will tear or curl at the edges and would increase (instead of reduce) the likelihood of slips and falls.
Likewise, contaminates can get transferred to shoes in heavily-soiled matting, resulting in an inkpad effect, which literally spreads water and debris all over the facility.
Choose mats that are certified “High Traction” by NFSI. These mats have been tested in real-world and laboratory setting ensures mats are of highest safety requirements.
Contact Simpo Cleaning on 1300 390 399 If you need to help putting together a cleaning and maintenance schedule.