Snowy, sloshy, wet floors mean trouble. Not only are they a burden on your building floor finishes and carpet, but they can easily lead to slip and fall liabilities. Average settlements are tens of thousands of dollars, so a little preparation is well in order.
Insurance companies often rank slip and fall costs in their top-three for business policies. Some insurors provide a discount if your building can pass their safety program or inspection list.
What conditions lead to slips and falls, and how can they be reduced?
- 1. Floor finish friction is not right for the area or application. Floor finishes are rated by their "coefficient of friction" by a device known as a James Machine, or another newer device, the Topaka unit which measures dynamic coefficient of friction. The James Machine ratings run from .01 to 1.0, with .5 being the minimum acceptable. You want a floor finish rated above .5 and closer to 1.0. A PUR-O-ZONE floor specialist can advise you.
- 2. Spray buffing has "speeded up" the floor. Spray buffing hardens the finish and can lower the James Machine rating. Get advice on a modern buffing agent or restorer designed to add to the coefficient of friction, thereby once again slowing down your floor.
- 3. Oversprays have lubricated the floor. If your janitorial staff uses stainless steel cleaner, furniture polish, silicone door lubricants or similar products, oversprays can create slicker areas. Cleanup and thorough removal after using these products over finished hard surfaces is important to keeping floors at safe friction levels. Consider a microfiber mopping system. We can consult with you on faster and more effective ways to clean using the advancements in microfiber.
4. Wet floors from inclement weather. Water and ice immediately lubricate hard floors, bringing them under the safety minimum .5 level of friction coefficient. Ways to fight back include:
- Replace thin matting, such as that used by rental companies. Investment in quality matting you clean-in-place pays for itself in a short time.
- Follow traffic lanes with 30 total feet of matting.
- Use 3-stage matting starting outside the building. This process captures much more soil and moisture and reduces cleanup.
5. Unnoticed spills. Everyone in your building should be a spill spotter.
- A memo reminding occupants of how to notify your custodial rapid response person(s) of a spill should go out twice a year.
- Posting the call number in spill-critical areas is another safety idea.
- Adequate distribution of "wet floor" marking signage can allow anyone who notices a spill to put up a safety cone in the interim.
For answers to your questions about matting stage types, slip-fall floor resistance, and clean-in-place savings and flexibility, fill in the form in the left column. Your business in Kansas or Western Missouri will profit from this no-obligation entryway analysis.