Slipping is one of the biggest – and costliest – reasons for employee absence, not to mention subsequent compensation claims.
Sliding across the floor might seem like one of the least serious accidents, but it can result in some nasty strains, fractures and even concussions. As an employer, with a duty of care and safety to both to you, your staff, and your wallet, it is crucial that safety measures are put in place to reduce the chances of slips and falls occurring.
While it’s impossible to constantly monitor the staff all of the time – nor would you want to – there are steps that can be taken to minimize the likelihood of such incidents. Here’s a five-step checklist for creating a non-slip working environment…
1) Create a health and safety policy
With any luck, this is a document that your business will already have in existence, to which frequent updates are made. If not, then it’s imperative to create one right away. This policy should detail exactly what constitutes safe practices (including a definition of work-appropriate footwear), identifies hazards and explains the escalation process should any matter need to be reported. It should also emphasize the fact that every employee is responsible for the health and safety of themselves and everyone around them; it is not purely a managerial obligation.
2) Communicate and educate
Following on the steps suggested above, it’s vitally important that your employees know what the policy is and are able to act accordingly when they see a spillage or hazard that may cause someone to slip and fall, consequently injuring themselves. Promoting the policy via induction, team meetings and the intranet is necessary. Frequent training sessions are also vital; make them mandatory and ask staff to sign a disclaimer to confirm they have received adequate training – this is especially necessary for known anti slip hazards like decking.
3) Risk assess
It’s difficult when you spend so many hours in a building every day to notice the risks, but carrying out an assessment or health and safety manual is imperative for the identification and removal of any hazards. Perhaps nominate H&S representatives on each floor or team to do this every month or so. It’s worth paying particular attention to main entrances, staff cloakrooms, kitchens and toilets. Keep a look out for hazards that need to be addressed, such as replacing light bulbs or tightening up handrails.
4) Keep on top of general housekeeping
What do most people slip on? Water and mud top the list that is commonly brought into the building on the shoes of every employee. By ensuring that general housekeeping standards are maintained, you can avoid these unnecessary accidents. Ensure that someone is on hand to mop up and dry slippery floors and place warning signs near the affected areas. Keep all access points free from obstacles and ensure that staff hanging their coats and bags up properly to prevent tripping.
There is a vast range of equipment that should be brought into a work area to minimize slips. These include mats by all of the entrances, installation of non slip treads, cable tidies to move wires out of harm’s way and reparation of cracks. Don’t forget the stairs; ensure that handrails are sufficiently tight and perhaps use stair nosings to prevent from sliding from the steps.
Follow this checklist and your workplace should be far less slippery than it might have been before, keeping your employees safe and those claims at bay.
Thank you to our guest blogger for all of the anti-slip expertise . For help with handirails or stair nosings call Handi-Ramp at (800) 876-RAMP.