A wet floor is among the simplest hazard that can cause injury to people in the workplace or at home. They are among the leading cause of slip, trip and fall incidents. and are most likely number one on the list.
According to the US Department of Labour, 15% of accidental deaths and 25 % of reported injury claims are caused by a slip, trip and fall associated with a wet floor.
Every year, the total accident cost from wet floor incidents is 11 billion US dollars. And it is something that should be of big concern to us.
When surfaces get wet, from leaking equipment like refrigerators, pipes, and spilt drinks, rain, and juice, they become slippery and give chances for slip, trip and fall incidents to occur.
Where can we have wet floors?
Wet floors can happen in restrooms, food areas, dining rooms, storage areas, warehouses, and places where there is a possibility to have spilt from pipes or containers. Floors made of marble or tiles offer a risk of an accident.
Wet floors are dangerous floors. People should be mindful of them, most especially the property owners to avoid legal claims against liability lawsuits.
The property owners have the responsibility of keeping their premises clean and free from anything that can cause injury or harm to people.
How to Prevent Wet Floor Injuries.
Wet floor injuries are preventable. An individual can prevent that by doing the following.
- Create a procedure for spill cleanup and ensure all persons are informed about it.
- Ensure you inspect all equipment that is liable to cause a spill. And if you notice any leakage, get it repaired.
- Ensure you clean up any spills at all times.
- Engage in the use of wet floor signages to show places where spills are and clean up the spills as soon as possible.
- Barricade the wet floor until it is dry to prevent access to the risky area.
- Wear Slip-resistant footwear to protect yourself against slip and trip and fall hazards.
- You can use anti-slip traction tapes for better traction on surfaces such as ramps, floors, walkways, ladders etc., or any place you don’t want to slip.
- Use absorbent mats to retain and absorb oils or water spills.
- Drainage installation in places liable for spills such as restrooms.
- For floors to quickly dry up, proper ventilation is necessary. So, properly install ventilation systems.
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Tips to consider when cleaning the wet floor.
When you have a spill, you have to clean it up as soon as possible. Different types of substances can cause a Spill such as water, petrol, diesel, etc.
Using the right tool in cleaning it up will ensure you don’t harm yourself and the people around you. Your workplace spill-cleaning tools will involve the;
- Signages for wet floors.
- Paper towels.
- Absorbent materials (like towels, and rags)
- Detergent Solution.
Water spills and oil spills do have different outcomes. Oil is more dangerous than water as it is a flammable substance. So timely cleaning up of the Spill is essential to have a favourable outcome.
You have to consider the size of the Spill as this will determine how you’re going to clean it. For example, the way you clean a substantial spill will be different from the way you clean a small spill. Ensure you use the appropriate equipment in your approach.
Wear Slip-resistant Shoes.
While you’re trying to clean up a spill, you should consider wearing a slip-resistant shoe to prevent you from falling. The shoe is not an everyday shoe. And don’t be tempted to continue your work without it. It could make a difference between you going to the hospital or going back home the same way you came.
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Wet floor signages.
Place the wet floor signs the moment you notice a spill. Equally, position it in place when you’re cleaning the spill. It will help to communicate to people that there is an ongoing cleaning activity and will make them keep off from the area.
In workplaces, we have various signs, for example, no smoking signs, exit signs etc.,
Putting wet floor signs in places like public malls and parks is part of the legal responsibilities of a company, so placing a wet floor sign should be encouraged as well. Any injury arising from any negligence may cause the company to pay legal fines when sued.
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Onyeka Emma is a QHSE Professional, a business person, and an entrepreneur. He is very passionate about health and safety, Business and Entrepreneurship.