Despite health and safety awareness being at an all time high, slips and trips are still one of the biggest causes of accidents and injuries in the workplace. An astounding 95% of major slips result in broken bones and, with injury claims having risen sharply in value in the last few years – now in excess of £16,500 per claim – can you really afford not to take action?
Employers are losing £512m/year through lost production and other costs due to such incidents, so laying the right type of flooring is more important than ever. Saving your organisation money and creating a safe working environment is easier than you might think. Here are five hints designed to help you avoid slips, trips and falls in the workplace:
• Ensure you have the correct type of flooring
Different working environments require different levels of slip resistance. Indoor flooring, though less likely to get wet, should still provide a good level of slip resistance to ensure a safe surface. However, flooring within industrial plants and outdoor flooring, such as used on public walkways and therefore at the mercy of the weather, are prone to becoming wet and slippery. In such cases, a higher level of anti-slip flooring is likely to be required to provide the highest safety for users.
• How safe are your stairs?
Making sure that you have sturdy and secure handrails, stair tread covers and high visibility stair noses can be the difference between preventing an accident and causing one. Good quality stair tread covers provide an inexpensive solution to the hazards associated with worn or slippery steps and can be installed onto existing concrete, timber or steel steps. Accidents often occur in darker environments. Making sure your stairs are outlined by stair noses in bright or luminous colours, ensures the leading edge and most vulnerable area of the step is highlighted and clearly visible to users.
• Keep it clean
Keeping your floors clear of tripping hazards and spillages is one of the best ways to prevent accidents. If you notice that there is something amiss, make others aware of the hazard by telling them and using appropriate safety signage until it can be rectified. Often a hazard which has been noticed but unreported is the cause of an accident.
• Regular inspections
Good quality anti-slip flooring should last for many years. However, cheaper alternatives may begin to lift and pucker as time progresses, meaning that the very thing meant to keep you safe actually becomes the hazard. With HSE standards and legislation changing frequently, it is a good idea to stay informed and check your flooring regularly. Failure to do so will not only increase the risk of accidents such as slips, trips and falls caused by bad flooring, but could result in expensive injury claims.
• A safe workplace is a productive one.
It stands to reason that if your employees are working in an environment in which they feel safe, they are likely to achieve greater output. The most effective workplace safety precautions (such as fire alarms and sprinkler systems) go unnoticed until such time as they may be needed. Anti-slip flooring should be no exception to this rule. With 20% of injuries caused through slips and trips resulting in over three days off work, effective safety flooring will continue to do its job, without becoming an obstruction or hindrance to those using it.
The correct type of flooring is of real importance when it comes to health and safety, but is one that is easily resolved through the recommendations and installation of quality products from companies such as DeckSafe Solutions.