If you are a business owner or are responsible for the safety and well-being of your employees and are in need of information on how to minimize slipping or falling, then you have come to the right place. This article will provide you with some simple, key procedures that can and should be implemented right away.
Step 1: Clean Up to Avoid Workers’ Compensation Claims
The first thing you need to do is, clean up! Not only clean up today, but have your employees do it daily! Just because you have a dirty, oily, or wet workplace, does not mean it needs to remain that way. If this is your first time doing a major cleaning, it may seem a bit daunting, but once completed and maintained, you should never have to work so hard at it again.
Getting this “monkey off your back” will reduce a ton of stress and not to mention, it will save you and your company a lot of money on repairs for your equipment and flooring and save you on workers’ compensation claims. Maybe even quite possibly, keep you from dealing with a workers’ compensation lawyer.
If you are wondering when you can get the time, man power or productivity to get this cleaning done? Simply add an hour (give or take) to the workday or have the cleaning done during “closed” hours or when your shop or plant is shut down. This can be an invaluable time to have the “deep cleaning” done, as your employees will not be interrupted by their regular tasks and can focus on the cleaning needed.
Step 2: Install Protective Flooring
Once you are done cleaning, you might also want to consider having some sort of “false flooring,” padding, or gripping added to your floors. This type of flooring or mats come highly recommended by Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and are a great investment for your company. You might also want to consider requiring your employees to have “Non Slip” shoes or boots. They are a little more expensive, but are well worth the money. Don’t let your employees fool you though, plain old rubber soles shoes are not the same as “Slip Resistant” shoes. If you do your research, you can find companies that specialize in these types of flooring as well as the shoes.
Step 3: Use Proper Footware
The next step in minimizing slips and falls in the workplace is to “lace up!” Make sure you and your employees have the correct foot ware and are actually lacing them up. Loose laces are one of the top reasons for trips and falls in the workplace today. Couple that with a wet or oily floor, and you are just asking for a disaster. You also want to ensure you have ample signage posted for everyone to read upon entering the workplace. Doing so will remind all employees of the risks in their working environment.
Step 4: Stock Up on Cleaning and Safety Products
Once you have done the above procedures you will want to “Stock Up.” Give yourself an arsenal of products that can keep your floors maintained and slip resistant. You can sometimes find a non slip coating can be sprayed on your flooring, but this isn’t always possible. Some older flooring might have too deep of cracks, grouting and build up to allow the coating to actually work. Textured type flooring can also be harder to clean, so other options are more convenient and more suitable for these types of situations.
You can purchase absorbent mats or socks that well help to absorb the liquid or water that is on the floor or around the machines. These types of mats are used to help keep walkways clean and free of debris. If you have workplace areas that use any type of spraying, fluid dispensing or even water fountains. These mats will do the trick.
One last thing you can do to minimize slip and fall injuries is to install Grab Bars. These bars are also a good thing to have when working in hazardous, or slippery environments. Making sure to have warning signs, hazard tape, or other “blockade” type materials on hand, can prove to be invaluable. Taking the necessary measure to “get the area noticed” will ensure workplace safety and will also keep any customers well-informed and safe.
Step 5: Safety Training
Last but not least, train your employees! Train them to care about their workplace and their equipment they use every day. Train them to maintain and recognize potential problems before they happen. Having specific policies and procedures written in some sort of memo or handbook should be a top priority, as it will give you the opportunity to give EVERY employee the written procedure on how to keep the facility clean and maintained. By providing them with this Safety information, you also give yourself an opportunity to protect yourself by requiring a signature from your employee stating they have and understand the company’s Safety Policies and Procedures. Once you have completed the above steps, you should be well on your way to minimizing slip and fall injuries in the workplace.
Thank you to our guest bloggers for submitting this article on safety.