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Using flooring to prevent slips, trips and falls in the workplace

As tiresome as it might be to hear talk of “slips, trips and falls”, they sadly remain all too common in the workplace, across all industries. In fact, it’s been suggested that roughly 40% of all injuries at work are caused by slips, trips and falls, which means that companies who want to cut down on workplace injuries, and significantly cut down on the number of compensation claims made against them, should take as many measures as possible to prevent these kind of accidents from taking place in the future.

Legal requirements

Laid out in the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, employers have a duty to ensure the health and safety of all of their staff and any members of the wider public who may be put at risk by their activities, doing everything they practically can to prevent injuries.

They must, according to The Management of Health and Safety Work Regulations 1999, also assess risks on a regular basis, taking action to ensure that staff are never at undue risk of harm.

The Workplace Regulations 1992 also requires employees to ensure that floors are in good condition and suitable for purpose, whilst also being free from any obstructions..

Slippery floors

One of the biggest causes of slip, trips and falls is a slippery floor. It’s so easy to spill liquids or oils on the floor in many workplaces, and because floors are so often made from smooth, nonresistant materials, this can pose a real problem and make them a health hazard if the spill is not immediately noticed and either cleaned up or signposted.

One way to prevent this is to do a risk assessment on all of the floors in your workplace Identify any floors that are prone to become slippery, or which would not deal well with a spillage, and then take steps to replace them.

Non-slip flooring is the ideal choice for this, because it is slip resistant, so it alone will cut down on a lot of these accidents immediately.

Dirty floors

Another thing that can cause a huge risk are dirty, sticky or wet floors, which is why it is so important that you should instruct your cleaners to take particular care with flooring, removing and liquids or debris and clearly signposting any slippery floors immediately.

When cleaning flooring, it is important that the correct chemicals are used as this will help to keep floors in good condition, avoiding the cracks, scuffs and breaks that can cause staff to trip up if they are not careful.

Surface switches

A final factor that causes a lot of slip, trip and falls in the workplace is the transition from one type of flooring to another, like walking from a wooden floor to a heavily carpeted one. The transitions in volume can cause trips, which is why it would be a good idea to remove flooring and simply install one type of non-slip flooring across the whole building if possible.

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