Approximately 90% of slips and falls in the workplace occur when the floor is wet with water or contaminated with other substances. There is a common misconception that many slips ‘just happen’ and that little can be done about it however, this isn’t true. Introducing good slip prevention measures, especially in high risk areas, can both cut injuries by as much as 50% and also cover you in terms of the law if managed effectively.
Here, we will give you insight into the types of areas that may require special attention and what flooring materials will work best in certain environments. As a result we hope that you can create a better working environment for you, the workforce and your customers.
To begin, here are the top 3 areas that often need to take priority:
This is clearly the most utilised space in any commercial premises, and why it is of great importance to introduce a flooring which is high in durability and slip resistance. Not only this, after choosing a flooring that can withstand high footfall and optimum safety, it's also important to have the area regularly checked in order to ensure it still meets HSE standards after high levels of use.
Some outside entrances may even include a ramp or stairs for access to the building and therefore are exposed to weathering and wet conditions. It is vital to consider the material used on the ramp, as walking on an inclined surface requires a higher level of friction. In order to test the friction of the ramp, you can benefit from a ramp test from our team at National Testing. Due to being a high traffic area it is vital that this space is inspected thoroughly and consists of a flooring that can survive the tough environment.
2. Staff Kitchens
This is a space which is highly prone to contamination from spills of liquids and food, therefore the flooring chosen should be textured rather than a smooth tiled floor which can be extra slippery when wet. Although the flooring material chosen is clearly important in this environment, it should also be well maintained through regular cleaning to reduce the amount of contamination and remove any residue underfoot.
Again, kitchens tend to be extremely high traffic areas which is why it's important to risk assess frequently for any wear and tear or reduction of slip resistance.
3. Customer Toilets
This is an area which sometimes is forgotten about when considering safe flooring due to the fact that toilets tend to be tucked away from the main footfall areas. However, they are highly prone to water spillages from people washing their hands and therefore it is important to have a flooring which suits best to wet conditions. Further to this, it should be emphasised to cleaning staff that this is an area not to be missed.
The safety and sustainability of your restroom flooring is important to us at National Testing, we encourage you to talk to us today to launch the first step. We can assist in helping you choose the correct material or in measuring your current levels of slip resistance to ensure they meet with HSE requirements.
If you decide that your premises needs new sustainable and slip resistant flooring to aid in a high risk area then you could consider introducing the following materials:
- Safetex Vinyl
- Anti slip mats and tiles (Rubber is a common option)
- Anti slip floor coatings and treatments
- Anti slip tapes (for handrails or ramps)
- Anti slip floor and step coverings.
Of course, when choosing a slip resistant flooring material for your facilities, you not only want to prioritise safety but also to consider factors such as durability, aesthetics, ease of fitting and price of installation.
If you are interested in finding out more about the types of flooring material appropriate for your business premises, or are in need of testing your existing flooring to investigate how safe it is, get in touch with us at National Testing - we will be more than happy to assist you.