Preventing slipping in a building is very important in order to keep employees and visitors safe. Every year there are thousands of lawsuits in court for injuries as a result of slipping. So what can be done?
Pendulum Slip Testing
Today, you can test your tiles in a structure and measure how resistant it is to slipping. Using Pendulum slip testing this test can be performed.the UK HSE and UKSRG preferred in-situ slip test method.All test equipment carries the appropriate UKAS calibration certification. The test performs: Slip risk assessment, Product certification, Accident investigation, vehicle skid resistance testing.
What is Slip risk assessment
The general test that tests the surface / floor against slipping. You will receive Real time feedback on results and risk classifications, verbal comment on possible remedial actions (if necessary) and a formal copy of all results recorded before we leave site.
what is Product Slip Testing
In house slip testing is used regularly by our clients to certify new products, determine suitability for a given environment or compare properties of potential flooring choices. The test is performed in three directions, in dry and water wet conditions, using slider. slip risk classification according to HSE guidelines and UKAS calibration certificates for all test equipment. Where possible samples should be of 300x300mm to allow directional tests to be completed on adjacent areas. This is in line with UKSRG recommendations
what is Slip Accident Investigation
Pendulum slip testing is widely recognised as the only on site slip testing method suitable for legal proceedings. The test can prove that a floor is safe or slippery, which may protect you in court.
The test is performed with alongside forensic engineers, solicitors or lawyers to produce expert slip test reports suitable for the rigors of court scrutiny.
Contact us for advice and to arrange a test
Using Pendulum slip testing we can measure slip potential of both dry, wet and contaminated flooring.the UK HSE and UKSRG preferred in-situ slip test method.This is a great method to prove to authorities, insurance companies and lawyers that you have provided a safe floor environment.
Pendulum slip Testing Applications
-Reducing accidents and preventing lawsuits in court
-Certify products for market
-A definitive measure of slip resistance
-skid resistance testing of road
Benefits Of Pendulum Slip Testing
-Protect yourself from insurance claim costs and potential criminal prosecution
-All test equipment carries the appropriate UKAS calibration certification, which is freely available on request.
-Pendulum Slip Test Service Reliable and professional.
-Understand the level of risk
-Avoidance of injuries
When Should I Perform Pendulum Slip Test Service?
-routine maintenance of the floor.
-In the construction of a new floor.
-any change in cleaning contractor.
-After a slip accident.
-Certify products for market.
How can I do Pendulum slip testing?
We conduct slip tests /Floor slip service daily.
For more details:
+44 (0) 208 551 7000
Certifying Anti-Slip Decking
Decking remains a popular choice for both commercial and domestic spaces, and can provide an attractive, sustainable, and durable flooring choice. Care should be taken however to ensure the surface is safe and fit for purpose, or responsible parties could find themselves in hot water in the event of a slip.
What Constitutes Anti-Slip?
It is generally accepted that surfaces presenting a PTV of 36 or more in wet conditions, when tested in line with UK Slip Resistance Group Guidelines, can be considered anti-slip. Given that the vast majority of decking is situated externally and exposed to the elements, an anti-slip surface is crucial if the surface is to be safe. Whilst the law is not explicit, it is typical that surfaces failing to achieve 36+PTV will be regarded as unsafe. Those seeking a decking product should then be safe if they obtain one with a certificate stating 36+PTV, however decking presents some complications that mean selection is not always as straightforward as this.
Surface Profiles; Micro vs Macro
Almost all timber decking will present a rough micro-profile due to the grain of the wood. The extent of this roughness is dependent on how the wood is processed and finished. A softwood with a sawn-cut finish will provide a rougher micro-profile than, for instance, a planed/sealed hardwood.
Any sealants, varnishes, or similar finishes can smooth the micro-roughness and decrease slip resistance. However, such products may introduce a roughness of their own, by the inclusion of an embedded anti-slip particulate. Application of an anti-slip sealer will boost slip resistance and reduce the directional effect by increasing surface micro-roughness. Consideration should be given to the potential for the sealant to wear however.
Whilst macro-smooth decking relies solely on micro-roughness to provide a degree of slip resistance, many types of decking incorporate the familiar grooved macro-profile cut into the surface. The edges of the peaks of the profile pierce the lubricating film and bite into the rubber of a person’s shoe soles, or the calibrated slider on a Pendulum tester, increasing friction.
The sharper the edges of the macro-profile, the more effectively they will cut through the lubricating film. The profile edges will become gradually rounded over time due to wear and slip resistance is likely to reduce. This is one reason why regular, periodic testing is important to ensure ongoing compliance.
The peaks of the profile still offer the benefit of micro-roughness discussed above, albeit over a smaller area. There is often a trade-off between the beneficial effects of micro and macro profile.
Due to the grain structure of wooden decking, its slip resistance is highly likely to depend on the direction in which it is tested, or indeed, the direction in which a person walks upon it. Such materials are known as anisotropic.
The slip resistance measured along the grain of the wood is likely to be lower than that measured across the grain. The profile cut along the grain of many types of decking will help increase slip resistance across the grain but will do nothing to help it in the along direction. In fact, the reduction in contact area may even reduce it. For this reason, wherever possible, decking should be laid with the profile or grain running perpendicular to the direction of travel. This is easily achieved on a bridge or walkway, but less so in larger, open areas.
Due to this sensitivity to direction, care must be taken to match the direction of testing with the expected direction of traffic in end use. Where traffic direction cannot be controlled we recommend that the worst performing direction, with the lowest PTV, should be considered to represent the risk of slip.
Our own tests report the lowest performing direction as the overall PTV, however others select the highest, the mean or the median. As pedestrians do not experience an average slip resistance but a discrete one, we believe only the lowest performing result is of use. Stating that the minimum slip resistance is above a certain level is useful in both ensuring a safe surface and defending slip injury claims. Stating that performance is a certain level on average, or below a certain level, is neither useful nor safe. There are clear commercial benefits to alternative classification of course, and in the defence of those relying on them, the guidance on the ultimate PTV is ambiguous. Regardless, the directionality of testing remains a crucial aspect of classification.
BS 7976-2 is capable of modelling both shod pedestrians (slider #96/4S) and barefoot pedestrians (slider #55/TRL) with different rubber pads mounted to the test foot. On heavily profiled surfaces, such as a grooved deck, the UKSRG Guidelines recommend testing with both sliders regardless of the end use. This is because the macro-profiled surface exaggerates the interlock between sole and floor under the high pressure of a person’s foot, whereas the Pendulum foot with its relatively light surface pressure has a tendency to skip over the surface.
Buyers and specifiers of anti-slip decking should consider the results from both slider #96 and #55 when assessing anti-slip performance.
Variability in Natural Products
Wood, as a natural product is typically subject to greater variability than many man-made materials. This can result in batch-to-batch and even plank-to-plank changes in slip resistance. Therefore, any slip resistance results given by suppliers or manufacturers may differ from the installed product. In-situ testing of flooring is always important and decking is no exception. If variability is significant and around the crucial 36PTV low risk cut off, a greater than normal number of slip tests may be required to establish an accurate, and reliable, indication of slip risk.
Organic growth on wooden decking is as common as it is detrimental to slip resistance. The growth of slimy algae forms a semi-solid contaminant when combined with water that the profile of the wood is often unable to effectively disperse. Anti-fungal treatments can help, as will periodic mechanical cleaning. Any aggressive mechanical processes are likely to wear the surface, similarly reducing slip resistance performance, so expert advice should be sought.
Due to its absorbent nature, wood will remain “wet” for longer than many other surfaces. Only the thinnest film of water is required to induce a slip and damp wood is likely to provide this. This is an important consideration for those who might say that decking will only be used in dry conditions. The surface will remain wet for a considerable time after rain has ceased.
There are a wide range of anti-slip treatments available to increase the slip resistance of decking and reduce the risk of a slip. It is generally far better to specify and instal anti-slip decking than to try and remedy the issue in situ however. For domestic use, a simple sealer incorporating an anti-slip particulate is likely to be sufficient, but for commercial projects wear and longevity will be a concern for any coatings. Anti-slip resin inserts can be retrofitted for long term performance, but the spacing of strips should be such that someone cannot slip between them.
Assessing The Real Risk Of Slip
At Munro we have always taken a pragmatic approach when assessing slip resistance and helping clients to reduce slip risk. Slip resistance ratings are more widely available than ever before for new products, but how does a number or letter on a box translate to safer floors and fewer slip accidents?
Understanding Slips & FallsSlips
occur when a pedestrian requires a greater level of grip, or slip resistance, than a surface can provide. Their foot slides over the surface, causing a loss of balance and possibly a subsequent fall and associated injury. Understanding the level of grip typically required, and the level of grip that a pedestrian can expect in a given situation is then essential if the risk, or likelihood, of a slip is to be determined.
In clean and dry conditions, the level of grip provided to almost any shoe by almost any floor will be adequate for almost any pedestrian. Very few slips occur in clean and dry conditions as a result.
When surfaces are wet, or otherwise contaminated, the contaminant forms a barrier between sole and floor, reducing the contact and associated grip that a pedestrian will experience. The nature of the contaminant, from dry and dusty, through the more common water based, to thick and greasy, is likely to have a significant impact on the real risk of a slip.
Understanding Laboratory Slip Tests
Lab tests are conducted in tightly controlled conditions, but often these conditions won’t bear any resemblance to the end use conditions that are of interest to our conscientious health and safety manager. Floors featuring an R9-R13 value for instance, will have been tested with safety boots and motor oil contamination, telling you little about the likelihood of a person in trainers exceeding available grip levels on a dry surface. Similarly, a changing room floor with an A, B or C rating gives no indication as to the level of grip a shod pedestrian may experience, as this test procedure involves barefoot testing in soapy conditions.
The HSE and UK Slip Resistance Group’s preferred method of testing, BS 7976-2 (The Pendulum), will give an accurate indication of slip resistance for any combination of dry and wet surfaces with shod or barefoot pedestrians. Crucially, the 36 PTV (Pendulum Test Value) level has been shown to correlate historically with the level of grip required by most pedestrians, such that a 36+PTV surface is accepted as presenting a safe and acceptable risk of slip of 1 in 1,000,000.
There remains a limitation with laboratory certification however, in that it cannot predict the end use conditions of a certified floor.
Testing with Real Contamination- Pendulum Testing service
Whilst standard BS 7976-2 Pendulum testing is undertaken in dry and wet conditions, one of the main benefits of this test method is that it is portable and can be conducted on site. This means that the very real-life conditions, in which people really slip, can be accurately assessed. Clean and dry floors don’t cause slips, but how many floors are perfectly clean and always dry in end use?
We have conducted tests with a huge range of contaminants including but not limited to: ketchup, tomato pulp, brown sauce, mayonnaise, glucose syrup, rapeseed oil, margarine, powdered sugar, chocolate, milk, cream, motor oil, brake fluid, various soaps/gels, saw dust, plastic dust, brake dust and your run-of-the-mill dust. In each situation the results gave a valuable insight in to the actual level of grip a person in that environment could expect to encounter. Comparing the provided grip to the required grip, in an accurate model of the end-use conditions, ensures an accurate assessment of the real risk of slipping.
In, for instance, a kitchen environment, a legitimately “anti-slip” floor of 36+PTV might be installed, indicating, on paper, an ‘academic’ risk of slip of 1 in 1,000,000. Assessment in situ however, incorporating an understandably imperfect cleaning regime and a subsequently greasy floor surface, may return a less satisfactory but more accurate ‘real’ slip resistance of 24PTV. Such a result indicates a high risk of slipping and is likely to land responsible parties on the wrong side of any slip injury compensation claim.
Limitations of Testing
Whilst testing with the Pendulum is able to incorporate real flooring and real contaminants, it must rely on a standardised ‘sole’. This approach means that floors can be accurately classified as safe or slippery, but the impact of footwear on the real risk of slip is not properly modelled. Whilst this appears at first inspection to be a significant weakness to the method, the impact of this is both necessary, and limited.
In most environments footwear controls are not possible, and even where they are the type of sole is likely to vary in levels of wear and contamination, if not design. Knowing how a floor surface performs with a given sole is only of use to a health and safety manager if they are able to ensure only this sole access the surface.
Conversely, testing with all possible sole types would be an impossibility, and provide data that was largely meaningless when trying to determine the real risk of a slip occurring.
It is a requirement of UK law that surfaces are safe to walk on. It is commonly accepted that surfaces presenting a PTV of 36 or greater in the conditions of end use can be considered safe and suitable in terms of slip resistance. The impact of footwear on the real risk of a slip is minimised as the floor surface is relied upon to provide an appropriate design and grip level for end use conditions.
Where the flooring is safe and suitable, the footwear used is unlikely to meaningfully impact the real risk of a slip, and responsible parties have discharged their duty of care in providing a safe environment. Where footwear is necessary to ensure a safe working environment, this would constitute PPE and should be the last line of defence after every effort has been made to both limit contamination and improve flooring performance. In this situation the Pendulum test will accurately identify that the risk of slipping exists and requires attention. Only at this stage is testing of particular shoe soles (using a different testing method) likely to yield a reduction in the real risk of slip.
The real risk of slipping is of crucial importance when managing the health and safety of any given environment, but it is often overlooked. Those seeking to ensure low slip accident rates can employ our slip risk assessment service to expertly assess the real risk of a slip occurring, and impartially recommend pragmatic solutions to slippery situations.
Floor slip Testing
Company No: 6965050 Registered Office: 44-45 Burnt Mill, Elizabeth Way, Harlow, Essex CM20 2HU
Preventing Slip Accidents
Prevention of slip and fall accidents is crucial to any reputable business’s operations and bottom line. It is a myth that increasing slip safety is an expensive and onerous task. You can significantly reduce the rate of slip and fall accidents in your business by avoiding the following causes of slippery floors.
Whilst it isn’t the case that almost all wet floors are slippery, it is the case that almost all slips occur on wet floors.
A wet floor will pose a slip hazard when the floor surface has either not been designed to provide safe grip levels in the wet, or the anti-slip performance has degraded over time. Almost every slip accident we have investigated has arisen out of the combination of a floor surface which performs poorly in the wet, and a gap in the risk management that permitted the floor to become wet in end use. A floor can become sufficiently wet to present a slip hazard through numerous routes, however water tracked in from external surfaces, direct rainfall, showers/pools, spilled drinks, cleaning and work processes are among the most common.
If you are responsible for a surface which gets wet in end use, without knowing that the surface provides safe grip levels in the wet, you’re simply waiting for the unfortunate and expensive slip accident to occur. Assessing the slip resistance of the floor can determine whether the surface is safe or slippery when wet, and direct further controls such as measures to reduce contamination. An independent slip risk assessment can provide this and will be considerably cheaper and less time consuming than dealing with even one slip accident claim.
For clarity, when talking about dirty floors with regard to slip resistance, it is the dry ingrained dirt that is of interest as opposed to the transient surface contamination of, for instance, a spilt coffee.
Company No: 6965050 Registered Office: 44-45 Burnt Mill, Elizabeth Way, Harlow, Essex CM20 2HU
Floor surfaces are never completely smooth, all offer, to varying degrees, a surface profile which can collect dirt over time. Surfaces which are designed to offer good wet slip resistance will tend to offer a deeper profile and accumulate dirt faster. The rough surface which previously gave good slip resistance will become smoothed as the dirt builds up, reducing slip resistance. This can result in wet floors being ignored as a hazard, simply because the floor is thought to offer safe wet grip levels. Slips are sure to occur in such a situation.
The problem of a dirty floor is overcome, of course, with an effective cleaning. It might surprise you to learn however that ineffective cleaning remains a significant contributory cause of slips. This is because the typical daily clean is only effective at removing the top layer of dirt. A periodic effective deep clean will ensure all dirt is lifted and the floor profile is returned to its original slip resistant state, but care must be taken to ensure the next deep clean is scheduled before slip resistance has dropped to unsafe levels. A better solution would be improvement of the existing daily regime, to ensure the surface is maintained in a safe, hygienic and aesthetically appealing condition in the long term.
Failing to allocate sufficient resources to cleaning staff, equipment and chemicals may generate a small immediate financial gain, but often leads to a significant loss if/when a slip accident occurs. Periodic monitoring of the slip resistance of the surface is of the utmost importance if water contamination can be expected in end use. With a clean safe surface and an annual independent expert slip test certificate supporting it, you will be well placed to effectively defend any slip accident claims, even if they occur in the wet.
Incorrectly Specified Floors
Flooring specification will always involve influences from different parties, usually client, main contractor, flooring contractor and architect. Perhaps as a result of this around half of the floors we assess that do present a slip hazard have been incorrectly specified and should never have been installed.
An incorrectly specified floor is, in the sense of slip resistance, one which is laid in an area where water contamination cannot or will not be reliably controlled in end use, and yet fails to provide safe grip levels in the wet. Typically, this will be in order to provide a surface which is more aesthetically pleasing, easier to clean, or simply cheaper, however, even the most well-intentioned specifier sometimes falls prey to the convoluted web of slip test standards and ratings.
Whilst a high gloss natural stone floor may be perfect in a museum where contamination can easily be controlled, the same floor immediately adjacent to the busy external entrance to a shopping centre is questionable at the very least. If the risk assessment for such a situation suggests that the floor poses a slip hazard when wet and places unreliable or impractical controls in place to ensure a dry surface, responsible parties can expect to found liable for a slip occurring in the wet. Entrance matting and spot cleaning/drying is all well and good, but the water dripping from clothes/bags/umbrellas etc is impossible to reliably control, and if spot drying is necessary it is likely that someone with a wet shoe sole has already encountered a slip hazard. In this situation a rougher, better performing, anti-slip surface should have been specified and installed for the affected area.
Avoiding installation of the ‘wrong’ floor, in terms of slip resistance at least, is simple when the right information is available. Consideration must be given to the end use condition and whether the surface can be kept dry reliably. When end use conditions are known, ensure that the potential product achieves a BS 7976 Pendulum Test Value (PTV) of 36 or greater in those conditions. We regularly provide both architects and flooring suppliers with independent testing, quickly and inexpensively, to produce PTV ratings.
Rectifying the problem of a ‘wrong’ floor in situ rarely requires outright replacement. A wide range of effective anti-slip products are available and we will be happy to impartially recommend reputable companies offering products that we ourselves have tested. With any anti-slip treatment it is essential to ensure the finished treated surface meets the required standard (we can and do frequently help with this) and that the proper cleaning methods are in place to prolong the performance of the new floor finish.
What You Can Do To Prevent A Slip Accident
If you consider the above in relation to your own business, there is a chance there are surfaces that you are responsible for, personally and/or professionally, that are slip accidents waiting to happen. It is far better for all involved that slip risks are tackled prior to an accident occurring. We provide lawyers with expert reports on slip and fall cases regularly and in almost all instances an effective risk assessment would have highlighted the risk and may have averted a slip-related injury. Taking action before the slip saves not only legal fees, insurance costs, time, paperwork and emails, but can prevent significant injury. The test is performed using Pendulum slip testing. A bruised bum may be slapstick comedy to some, but a broken hip and the end of independent mobility is an unnecessary tragedy. Fraudulent slip claims, so often settled unnecessarily out of hand, can also be effectively defended if you act now. Contact us today for expert impartial advice and stop slips.
Floor Testing Service - Avoiding A Lawsuit
All workplaces, public offices, public buildings, malls, should check the safety of their anti-slip floors regularly. A slipping accident can occur at any time and may result in you and/or your company finding yourself in court. It is crucial to protect yourself with proactive assessment. A high percentage of workplace accidents are caused due to falling. There are even a few cases of falls leading directly to deaths each year. Every property owner should guard and defend themselves from legal proceedings. The HSE's preferred of in situ slip testing is the Pendulum slip test.
Why is it important to invest in a Floor Testing Service?
If you do not have slip testing equipment, you can use our Floor Testing Services. The tests are reliable and professional with a detailed report. It is a requirement of UK law that slip risk is assessed. A falling accident can lead you to legal proceedings and high fines. You can reduce exposure to legal action through regular floor pendulum testing, showing that the surface is safe. Floor Testing Services can protect you, and your staff/visitors, from both harm and expense before the slip occurs. Our reports can prevent fraudulent claims and support you in court if necessary. In addition, evidence of compliance may reduce insurance premiums.
How the Floor Testing Service is performed
The test is performed only by experts with extensive experience in the field. Grip Potential specialise in floor testing service Floor testing services utilising the Munro Pendulum slip testing device to test to BS 7976-2 (the HSE's preferred in situ slip test method). We also measure the surface roughness, giving additional insight to the risk of slipping. As part of the assessment we consider the environment and factor contributing to a slip, not just the floor surface, to give meaning to the test data. On completion of testing you will receive a full and detailed report including the findings of the assessment. Full reports are issued within a guaranteed 5 working days but often sooner.
Pendulum slip testing by Grip potential
Grip potential performs floor pendulum testing with professionalism and reliability. Our expert has been conducting testing on a daily basis for over 10 years, with over 8,000 individual assessments under his belt for Grip Potential. Our testing is conducted only by experienced operators. All test equipment is externally calibrated annually by independent UKAS accredited bodies and of course we have certificates for all our equipment. We are members of the UK Slip Resistance Group, the leading independent authority on slip resistance in the UK. Our customers are satisfied with us and you can see feedback on the site. Our slip test is conducted in strict compliance with the HSE's preferred in situ test method BS 7976 (the Pendulum). We remain completely independent from any anti-slip solution providers and never profit from any referrals.
Slip and fall accident investigation service
If a slipping accident occurs at work it is essential that you investigate the accident. This will provide valuable defence in any subsequent legal proceedings. The company that performs the test must have the capabilities to test the slip resistance of the flooring and prove that the flooring is safe. Slip accidents make up the majority of work-related accident types. Early inspection of the floor can prevent slips. If a slip does occur, it is worthwhile investigating in a professional manner. Even if you think everything is fine, a preliminary professional examination can protect you.
Causes of Slip / Fall Accident
Accidents can be caused by many reasons. They can happen in offices, in public buildings, in a mall, in a supermarket. As a result of wet flooring, negligence at work, ice on the flooring and more. Slipping is both common and dangerous and can result in anything from a minor injury to death. The damage to the property owner can be very large.
What to do in case of a Slip / Fall Accident?
We, Grip Potential, can offer a definitive measure of slip resistance providing overwhelming evidence that a floor is safe or slippery. Through Pendulum slip testing we can provide defence from litigation. We operate to the HSE and UK Slip Resistance Group's preferred methods. Our slip accident investigation includes working closely with engineers and/or lawyers to prepare a professional report appropriate for the court.
We have extensive experience in accident investigations and we conduct slip and fall accident investigation reports on a regular basis. We can support our report with expert witness or advisor services at competitive rates.
Flooring Specifiers Are Slipping Up
Historically it has been the case that too few of those deciding on flooring products considered slip resistance. Slippery when wet floors were being specified for areas where it was unreasonable to effectively prevent water contamination, leaving building managers with a headache in terms of risk management.
More recently, and perhaps thanks to the HSE’s efforts in targeting flooring specifiers, we have seen a significant and very welcome increase in those specifying floors with the appropriate BS 7976 ‘PTV’ of 36 or greater in the conditions of end use. Unfortunately, it also seems many still don’t understand slip risk and to ‘play it safe’ they are instead causing significant expense in terms of money, time and effort, and are making it more likely a slip will occur.
For the avoidance of doubt, floor surfaces must achieve a PTV of 36 or greater (when tested to BS 7976) in the conditions of end use. If end use sees shod pedestrians this means the shod slider, #96/4S must be used. If end use sees a wet floor this means values must be of 36PTV or greater in wet conditions.
Sometimes it seems this message has not been understood or interpreted correctly, often the message has been confused by those hawking their anti-slip products or services, claiming all surfaces must be 36PTV or greater, everywhere. Some organisations deem to hold themselves to a higher safety standard, and so add an arbitrary figure to the required 36PTV, often specifying 40PTV, 55PTV, or even higher.
“What is the problem if my specified product exceeds requirements?”, some may question. The answer is a combination of factors.
Easiest to explain is the unnecessary expense, especially if products are laid and then processed or treated to improve wet slip resistance.
More convoluted, but more important, is the safety factor. Once a surface provides sufficient grip, any additional grip has negligible impact on the risk of that person slipping. Someone is similarly unlikely to slip on a 36PTV and 70PTV surface. However, the slip resistance of flooring changes over time with wear and dirt deposits. Higher wet PTV’s tend to occur on rougher surfaces, and rougher surfaces have a greater propensity to both wear and collect dirt, and so are more likely to decline at a higher rate, leading to a reduced PTV (and potentially slippery floor) faster. At the same time, the floor, having been specified as (unnecessarily) anti-slip will be considered safe in all conditions, leading to a relax in contamination controls. A slippery surface, assumed to be safe, in an environment where controls are not effective, is almost certain to result in one, if not many, slip accidents and one, if not many, subsequent successful compensation claims.
Over specifying slip resistance is then both more expensive, more time consuming and less safe, but how much of a problem is it? How often does it really happen? Well it is seemingly extremely common if our sample of the market is anything to go by. All the following occurred in the last month;
In conclusion, whilst initial PTV’s are of crucial importance in floor safety, long term compliance simply cannot be bought with higher initial numbers. Seeking higher initial numbers is unnecessarily expensive and can increase the risk of a slip.
Caution, Wet Floor" - A Sign Slip Risk Is Not Taken Seriously
We've all seen the small yellow signs denoting a surface that is slippery when wet. I suspect a few may have gone on to wonder how exposing staff, visitors and customers to a known hazard with simply a warning to be careful has become so widely accepted and in some cases, even permanent. Some signs even advertise the fact the surface is dangerously slippery, which would be laughable were it not so serious. I can't imagine exposed electrical wires 'protected' by similar means could ever become acceptable, yet the sign serves the same purpose, advertising the fact that a known hazard exists because it has not been effectively managed, and asking those at risk to do their best to avoid injury.
Those displaying the offending signs will sometimes claim that the signs themselves negate slip risk, that slippery wet floors cannot be avoided, or the blame will be directed to the staff responsible for keeping the area dry. Whilst those responsible for cleaning may occasionally be at fault, often the real problem has arisen simply because a risk assessment specifically aimed at slips has never even been considered, or has been undertaken in the briefest manner as part of a risk assessment of far wider scope.
Three Common Flooring Follies That Cause Slips
With the wide range of environments that I visit it is perhaps surprising that there are actually a few very common mistakes that come up again and again. This week was no different and I saw all of the following;
A WET FLOOR
Is it the case that almost all wet floors are slippery? No. Is it the case that almost all slips occur on wet floors? Yes!
A wet floor will pose a hazard when the floor surface has not been design to provide safe grip levels in the wet, or the performance has degraded over time. Almost every slip accident we have investigated has arisen out of the combination of a floor surface which performs poorly in the wet, and a gap in the risk management that permitted the floor to become wet in end use. A floor can become sufficiently wet to present a slip hazard through numerous routes, however water tracked in from external surfaces, direct rainfall, showers/pools, spilled drinks, cleaning and work processes are among the most common.