Our cultural media often portray slips and falls as funny. But in reality, they are anything but. Slips and falls account for over one million hospital emergency room visits every year. These accidents cause anything from sprains to brain injuries to death.
Aside from being a health hazard, slips and falls are also the number one cause of workers’ compensation claims. They are also the leading cause of lost days from work. In 2017 alone, they made up a combined cost of $16.1 billion to US Companies.
According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, flooring materials contribute to more than two million fall injuries per year. Wet and slippery floors are the number one cause of these accidents.
Common Causes of Slippery Floors
The risks and dangers associated with a wet floor seem obvious. However, these conditions often go unattended or ignored by many managers or property owners. This negligence allows employees to come into contact with these dangerous situations.
There are a number of reasons floors can get slippery. Moisture or water is one of the main culprits. Many commercial buildings often deal with water that is tracked in from the outside, especially in times of inclement weather.
While businesses may or may not be liable for any accidents that occur due to tracked in water, they should still immediately address any wet floors. Similarly, leaky faucets or toilets in a public restroom can lead to a pooling of water. This consequently may result in an injury for any unsuspecting building guest.
Grease, too much floor polish, soap residue or even cleaning materials are other common causes of slippery floors.
Prevention of Wet Floor Injuries
Many businesses nowadays use metallic epoxy resin coating systems to create aesthetically pleasing and non-skid surfaces. These floor coatings are extremely durable and will meet any building’s performance needs.
They are great in many commercial and industrial places like warehouses, restaurants, showrooms and more. Other ways to prevent slippery floors and keep employees and customers safe employ proper maintenance and cleaning techniques.
Keep floors dry at all times
Planning ahead for moisture control help avoid unnecessary accidents caused by wet floors. Follow throughs to keep the floor dry are especially challenging during rainy or winter season. Staff and guests can constantly track in snow and ice.
To make matters worse, the cold can also cause condensation to form on concrete floors. This is usually referred to as the sweating slab syndrome. The slightest sign of moisture on your floors should be wiped away immediately. It is essential to stay vigilant with housekeeping.
One simple way to handle tracked in moisture is to provide employees with matting coverage to wipe off their shoes before entering the building.
Use cleaners and degreasing agents that are compatible with the floor type
Not all cleaning products are suitable for every kind of floor surface. It is crucial to test all products on a small section of the floor to ensure they are appropriate for your specific floor type. The wrong kind of chemicals may lead to a buildup of a slippery film on your floors.
Staff should be provided with effective training and supervision to avoid using the wrong cleaning equipment. Lack of understanding often leads to inappropriate and sometimes costly shortcuts.
Slipping and falling are no laughing matter. For years, they have stayed as the number one cause of employees skipping work. Any business owner should understand the reasons leading to these accidents, with slippery floors as the leading culprit.
By following the simple ways above, you can get rid of slippery floors in your building.