Floor safety and slip and fall prevention should be a top priority in any business. They are a top source of liabilities and can cost millions. The risk of slips and falls increases in wet weather conditions such as rain, hurricanes or winter storms. In fact, according to EHSToday.com, wet walking surfaces accounted for 55% of slips and falls. The good news is that there are steps you can take to prevent wet weather slips and falls.
- Use your door mats. Experts recommend placing door mats both inside and outside of all entryways. Make sure your door mats are designed to absorb water/liquid. Do your research before making a mat purchase to ensure it will work in your location. Make sure mats are properly anchored to the ground so corners and wrinkles don’t cause trips.
- Post wet floor signs. Place wet floor signs throughout your business to ensure they’re visible from all points of entry. That includes putting one near the inside of your door (just don’t put it so close to the door that it could pose a trip hazard). It never hurts to remind people that floors might be slick so they should take extra precautions.
- Keep a lookout for puddles, and clean them! It’s important to be extra vigilant about the conditions of your floors when conditions are slick. A dry mop is an easy and quick way to efficiently dry wet spots within seconds. Just make sure you are using clean, dry pads in order to effectively absorb the liquid.
- Make sure employees have appropriate footwear. You can’t always control what a customer wears on his/her feet, but you can ensure your employees wear shoes that are appropriate for the situation. There are slip-resistant shoes available designed to reduce the risks of slips and falls, especially in situations you know are likely to have wet/slick floors. They’re a small price to pay to reduce the risk of slips and falls and associated liabilities.
- Take your time and pay attention. Whether you’re a business owner, customer or employee, you need to take your safety into your own hands to a certain extent. While it’s up to business owners and operators to do everything in their power to improve floor conditions, it’s up to you to remain vigilant. If you’re walking on a surface that might be slick, slow down. Rushing only increases the risks of slips. Make sure your shoes are weather appropriate. Rainy and snowy conditions might not be the best time to wear 6” heels. And stay alert. If you notice a lack of floor mats or a lot of wet floor signs in the building, you can assume floor conditions are likely slick and you should proceed with caution.
Taking a few simple precautions can reduce the risk of slips and falls that could be costly for your business.
EHSToday.com: The High Cost of Slips, Trips and Falls