In the workplace, slips and trips are the most common causes of serious accidents. Here are a few tips to help prevent any accidents from occurring due to slippery floors.
Office floors and surfaces can become slippery due to accidental spillages or mopping with a wet mop without drying afterwards. If an employee falls from a slip or trip, this could lead to a serious accident which could lead to disability or death in extreme cases. These types of accidents would be severely costly for employees and employers alike.
Your office floor can easily become slippery if it is raining or if it is wet outside due to ice or snow, and if people are walking in and out with wet shoes this can be hazardous. This is up to the employer to make sure that the correct measures are in place for this type of situation.
At Mint we know how easily hazards can be created due to wet mopping, we always have wet floor signs in place as employees or visitors may still be in the building while we are carrying out our cleaning. The most common hazards include floors that have been left wet or damp after mopping, and trips can occur from vacuum cleaner cords or extension leads which are stretched across the office floor. People can easily trip over these potentially falling badly and really hurting themselves.
It is fairly straightforward when it comes to preventing accidents in the workplace, using wet floor signs is the obvious choice and this will warn people not to walk near the hazard.
How do slips and trips occur in the workplace?
Common causes of slips and trips are:
- Uneven floors or where floors are in a bad condition
- Wet or damp floors due to wet mopping and not using a dry mop afterwards
- Hazards due to rain or wet weather conditions
- General bad housekeeping
How to prevent slippery floors
- Mats with beveled edges at entrances are a great way to prevent slips, as they have a backing material which ensures that they do not slide when you walk on them
- Use wet floor signs where possible to make everyone aware of the wet floor or uneven surface
- If there is a spillage, please clean it up straight away
- Inform your employer about any situation in the workplace which you believe may lead to a potential accident
- Always wear the correct footwear for the workplace
Managing the prevention of slippery floors
Risk assessments will help employers become aware of slip and trip hazards which can prevent any risks in the workplace.
The best way to prevent slips and trips is by implementing basic good management. Employers should carry out all relevant risk assessments and ensure that all of these measures are put in place to minimise risk. This would involve identifying any slip hazards in the building, and you can then decide how they can be minimised.
For creating a process to manage slips and trips, the HSE recommend looking at 4 key areas:
All employers and employees should be aware of areas where accidents could happen and then think of ways to minimise the potential hazard.
All employees should be involved in minimising slips and trips. Where possible, they should be trained on the importance of accident prevention and some individual employees can be assigned to a specific area in the workplace where they can keep an eye out for potential hazards.
Your employer should check that all control measures are being implemented in the correct way. They will need to ensure that floors are dry, basic housekeeping is maintained, and any spillages are cleaned up immediately. A log should be kept of all or any repairs or maintenance works in the building, especially when it comes to the floors.
Employers should do periodical checks to see if the measures which have been put in place are working for them. If you check accident and investigation reports and speak with staff on the effectiveness of the controls, you can really keep on top of things.
Health and Safety in the workplace laws:
The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 requires employers to ensure the health and safety of all employees and anyone else who may be affected by their work, so far as is reasonably practicable. This covers all measures to control slips and trips in the workplace.
The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 requires employers to assess risks and where necessary, take the relevant actions to address them.
The Workplace (Health, Safety, and Welfare) Regulations 1992 require floors to be suitable, in good condition and free from any obstructions. Everyone should be able to move around safely.