We have all at some time or another struggled to keep our feet on a slippery wet floor.
Whether it is at home, at work, or whilst out shopping. Supermarkets, fast food outlets and shopping centres are just a few of the places where the risk of injury from something as simple as how we walk on a floor, are all too common.
Slip accidents cause injury to tens of thousands of people every year, and resulted in 35 lives lost in the UK alone in 2013. With the exception of motor, the UK insurance industry pays out more compensation to victims of slip accidents than any other form of accident, with £262 million per annum being reported.
If it is not possible to keep a floor clean and dry, or ensure the correct footwear is worn, then companies can turn to an eco friendly anti slip but before the investment in such a service is considered, there is a simple and at times, more cost efficient process to follow.
I see in many cases the use of cleaning products as the main cause of slip risk, and whilst it is not always possible to ensure “legal floor safety standards” from the introduction of a more suitable cleaning product alone, it can be a huge help, not only to commercial business’ but to homeowners who need to maintain a safe floor. Take Mrs Bailey in Wolverhampton who last week wrote to me with the following words about one of our cleaning products and said:
“following the installation of an updated wet-room, I had been disappointed to find that my anti skid floor tiles did not prevent me slipping when transferring from wheelchair to shower-chair or WC. I had tried many products in my attempt to make the floor safe and nothing seemed to work.
Until I discovered Green Kleen. It was explained to me that most well known products contain agents that make the surface smell nice and shine. This means they also cause slippage not only for me but other unsuspecting folk. Green Kleen transformed my floors immediately and I have had no further problems. In fact it is fair to say it has transformed my life. I had unfortunately had several falls and had just been lucky so far not to end up with any broken bones but it would only have been a matter of time. This product, when diluted is odourless, and can be used just about anywhere. I no longer buy branded products and use this for all cleaning jobs. I have even recommended it to a friend who breeds cocker spaniels so that she can safely clean without risk to her precious pups, as it is totally green and safe. Nothing noxious to harm them. So many homes (and businesses) would benefit from this wonderful product, please feel free to pass on my compliments should anyone enquire”
The first place to start with cleaning products is to check the MSDS to see if there are any tell tale signs. A word of caution though. manufacturers can be very cute when it comes to pH levels and can be very creative with wording when it comes to the regulations.
Calling certain chemicals by another name, I have even seen chemicals that are harmful described merely as an “irritant”. Even an odour can be a sign of an addition to risk.
There are cleaning products that claim to be a “slip resistant” cleaning product. Made by a large reputable manufacturer the NHS understandably expected that the product it had been purchasing, was helping minimise the risk of slips. An independent floor safety test helped determine that floor slip risk was as high as you can get!
We resolved the issue with our anti slip and the NHS now use our cleaning product, which as been successful in reducing slips to zero.
If you do not know what you are looking for, It can be a real minefield trying to assess a cleaning product. I have seen facilities managers, flooring contractors and even cleaning companies think they are using the correct product only to discover they are adding to the slip risk in their buildings.
That is why at 4Earth Solutions we always start with how the cleaning is being done.
We also provide free advice over the telephone and by email on whether or not the product they are using is suitable for the particular use.
For free advice on your cleaning product please call 0191 567 0300 or email your MSDS to email@example.com
This simple measure may be the difference between someone getting injured on your premises, costing your business a significant amount in increased insurance premiums, not to mention negative publicity.