Avoiding Slips, Trips & Falls In The Workplace
With autumn and winter comes the slip and trip season that will lead to misery for the many thousands of people who will find themselves visiting their local accident and emergency department over the coming months.
Although it sounds more like a side effect of the festive season, many of these accidents will be caused by dark nights, cold weather and icy walkways. However, according to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) most serious slip injuries happen inside, and are due to contaminants, such as water or grease, finding their way onto floors.
The HSE also says that someone slips and injures themselves at work every three minutes in the UK. Often, these accidents occur because employers are unknowingly putting their employees at risk by not maintaining non-slip flooring correctly. Non-slip flooring is often found in high traffic areas such as kitchens and on walkways, so it can quickly build up with dirt and grime if it is not cleaned regularly, which causes it to lose its non-slip properties.
In busy or public areas this type of flooring should be cleaned every day. Because a lot of non-slip floors are heavily textured, rag mops usually work better than sponge mops, which often disintegrate, and an industrial floor cleaning product should also be used. A scrub brush is good for tough areas and steam cleaners or pressure washers are also very effective on these surfaces. Another way that slip injuries can be prevented is by introducing procedures that make the cleaning up of any spillages a priority.
It’s quick and easy to put such systems in place and can immediately make a workplace safer and reduce the risk of injuries and compensation claims. In any areas where floors regularly become wet and slippery, it is advisable to display a sign to warn people of the hazard, and matting should also be used which will help to keep the area dry and make it safer.