According to a recently-released article from Occupational Health & Safety (OHS), most slip and fall accidents are due to problems with the walking surface. Improper cleaning over long periods of time can lead to floors that are dangerously lacking in traction and more prone to causing serious injuries.
Use Proper Cleaning Techniques
According to OHS, it is easy for floors to become hazardous, not only due to improper cleaning over time, but also due to dry contaminants such as sand, uneven concrete, loose floorboards, or slippery build up.
Many people also believe that using all-surface cleaners are safe enough, however, selecting a floor cleaning product that is specifically designed to be used on the material that the floor is made of—as well as not using too much of it—is actually safer in terms of avoiding potentially dangerous build up.
It is also key to use cleaners exactly as manufacturers have instructed and to ensure that everything used to clean the floors is clean so that dirt is not spread further. For example, using hot water instead of cold can be a common mistake, but if a product has been designed to be used with cold water specifically, it may cause problems. Cleaning solution must also be changed after each use so as to avoid dirt being spread and turning into a hazard.
Timing is Important
Perhaps most importantly, floors should not be cleaned when there is heavy traffic. Wet floors alone are a serious hazard, and when people walk on wet floors, they are more likely to leave and spread dirt, which can become another hazard. Employers that run businesses that patrons frequent should schedule floors to be cleaned at the end of work shifts, and if they are cleaned during high-traffic times, drying pads should be used to speed up the process.
The Importance of Inspections and Audits
There are tools available to property owners to help them determine just how hazardous any floors have become. For example, OHS discusses testing the coefficient of friction using a tribometer (right). This can help determine if a floor has significantly changed since it was manufactured due to improper cleaning. This testing can be done as part of an inspection or audit to identify what could slowly be developing into a hazard.
Plan for Bad Weather
Perhaps the strongest elements that give rise to slip and fall accidents are snow, ice, and sometimes even rain. It is crucial that property owners put together a plan ahead of time to prepare for bad weather and how they will ensure that sidewalks and entrances are clear of hazards. It is also crucial that employees are properly trained on slip and fall prevention. They are the second leading cause of lost work time and workers compensation claims.
Slip and Fall Accident Attorneys
The Pennsylvania premises liability attorneys at Solnick & Associates represent individuals in Philadelphia and surrounding areas who have been injured in slip and fall accidents or due to other dangerous conditions. Contact us today for a free consultation and see how we can help you.