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Six Steps to Floor Safety

May 11, 2009

While reading this month’s “Facility Safety Management Magazine” I came across a very interesting article about 6 easy ways to prevent slip and falls for companies. The statistics on slip and falls are really amazing. According to the National Floor Safety Institute (NFSI), the average restaurant has three to nine falls each year and the cost to defend any lawsuit that may arise out of any of those incidents is around $50,000. Slip and falls also represent over 65% of all work days lost, and the average worker’s compensation is $20,228 per claim. With this in mind there are 6 major components to help prevent slip and falls in any facility, below is a paraphrase of what I think the 6 steps represent.

  1. Walkway Audits & Monitoring: A walkway audit is the way a company can test the static coefficient of friction on a floor (SCOF), the information in this report is an excellent way for your company to see firsthand the condition of your floors and come up with a remedy before and incidents occur.
  2. Proper Maintenance: Improper cleaning of floors may make the SCOF much lower because certain cleaning agents and tools break down the surface. It is extremely important that employees are properly trained in the cleaning of the floors.
  3. Employee Training: Employees should be trained on how to identify report and avoid any slip, trip or fall hazard as well as instructions on cleanup, disposal and placement of floor cones.
  4. Footwear Policy: All employees should be made to wear some type of slip resistant footwear; this is a vital component in the prevention of slip and falls.
  5. Proper Signage: Make sure signs are put out only when it warrants them, if signs are left out all the time, people will not notice them when really warranted. Always have 1 or 2 for spills and enough to cover all entrances.
  6. Proper use of floor matting in the entrance and hallways where water and contaminants are prevalent: Make sure there is proper floor covering for all weather conditions and in extremely slippery areas.

Slip and falls are said to be incidents not accidents because most of them can be avoided. With just utilizing these 6 steps you are sure to see a lot less slip and fall incidents in your company.

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