Together with slips and trips accounting for more than a third of all reported major injuries and 95% of major slips leading to broken bones, slick flooring can pose a serious hazard to visitors and staff alike. The need for a formal risk assessment of slick flooring is oft overlooked; however the danger of slips occurring can be significantly reduced with simple and inexpensive controls.
The very first step in cutting slip risk will be to identify regions which pose a risk to customers. Marking the place of recorded slips in the previous year on a sketched map of this area is a good beginning. Talk to the regular users of the area to determine whether any near misses have occurred or if the flooring feels slippery in certain conditions. Mapping slips in this way should immediately highlight any surfaces requiring focus.
The great majority of slips occur on surfaces that are contaminated. This is because the contaminant forms a barrier between sole and floor, significantly reducing friction. A clean dry flooring is not likely to be slippery. It must be said that contamination is not necessarily moist; dust, swarf or polythene will all reduce available friction. A very simple change to the work procedure may remove contamination; differently consider other measures like fixing leaks on offending machinery, or fitting a canopy over outside doorways.
It is not always feasible to prevent contamination of the floors. If contamination is unavoidable then it’s a requirement that reasonably practicable measures are taken to minimise its effects on users of their surface. Again, regular customers of the area should be consulted in order ascertain the actual function of the distance versus its intended purpose. In case a switch to the work process can reduce the probability of contamination it is a worthwhile measure. Staff should be encouraged to embrace a’see it, sort it’ attitude to contamination. The cleaning regime ought to be effective at eliminating dirt therefore the surface profile doesn’t become clogged and its own properties properties decreased. The suitable quantity of cleaning chemical is essential as a residue left on the surface is very likely to increase slip risk. It should not be ignored that cleaning a floor leaves it polluted for a period of time. Wet mopping spreads a thin film of water throughout the surface which is based on convection to dry. Only a tiny quantity of water is required to make the hydrodynamic squeeze film that reduces grip. For busy regions consider spot cleaning and run a full clean after hours, restricting access to all wet surfaces. Effective anti-slip Sole Runner Trainer FX footwear may further protect cleaning staff from slips.
Lighting should be such that any contamination on the floor should be readily observable. Bright lights and thoroughly polished floors have a tendency to produce glare, hiding contaminants. Conversely, dimly lit areas deny users the opportunity to avoid contaminated areas. If users know the surface is slippery they’re most likely to adjust their gait so and are not as likely to fall. Weather created contamination poses a risk as a surface that is provides great grip in the dry could turn out to be remarkably slippery from the rain. External doorways should be shielded using a duplex and effective entry matting stretching to several steps to the construction will help reduce water ingress. During heavy rain the matting may become saturated, at which case temporary mist may be a good option provided it doesn’t become creased, posing a trip hazard. Less obvious aspects such as condensation, too humid surroundings, chillers or freezers can also be possible sources for pollution.
If contamination of the surface occurs frequently then the surface must provide a safe degree of traction in polluted conditions. If customers include the very young, old or people with decreased agility then it’s imperative that the surface is safe to walk on. Deep cleaning often removes dirt clogging the outside , increasing surface roughness and the capability to puncture the fluid layer dividing only from ground. This should be considered as a first choice and if found to be successful incorporated into the cleanup regime on a periodic basis. A wide assortment of surface treatments of are available, varying in effectiveness. When employing a surface cure you should think about getting the surface analyzed and certified in conclusion, ensuring that you have documented proof that the surface provides a safe level of grip. Grip Potential can offer this service. Sometimes the only way to decrease slip risk to secure levels is to replace the floor surface . Care should be taken when deciding the replacement surface to ensure it meets and will continue to satisfy the frictional requirements of consumers. The HSE classify a consequence of 36 or over when tested to BS 7976″The Pendulum Method” as a very low risk of slip. Your provider should be able to provide slip resistance outcome, however results in tests such as DIN51130, DIN51097 or proprietary evaluation methods should be treated with trepidation. Grip Potential can provide independent testing of samples to BS 7976 inexpensively.
In case the use of a slick surface cannot be avoided then successful anti-slip footwear ought to be put into place. It’s important that the footwear offers adequate grip from the conditions that they will be used. Finally it is the slide resistance in use with likely contaminants that will determine effectiveness. A trial should be implemented with a range of footwear for a range of applications across a range of contaminants to pick effective soles. Consider the feedback provided by evaluation users, if shoes are unpopular choices should be considered, although a compromise on comfort, durability and safety may be required. Footwear profiles will need to be kept free from debris to guarantee continued slip resistance. Consider work processes and placement of boot cleaning facilities to ensure bottoms remain at their best.