Many unpreventable factors can cause a slip, trip and fall accident within a facility costing big bucks in unemployment and liability claims. Wet or damp floors are not the only cause; clutter, footwear and improper cleaning are additional slip and fall factors. The majority of general industry accidents are slip, trip and falls, sometimes due to floor safety being ignored. Disabling occupational injuries due to slips, trips and falls has cost an estimated $11 billion annually. According to Don Ostrander, CSP, “The average cost from slip and falls is $22,800 per accident. Average worker’s compensation claim is $19,000.” Many times when an employee has an on the job accident the company has to factor in a replacement worker on top of the salary of the unemployed. There is no limit to what fees companies will be responsible for when a visitor has a slip and fall accident on the premise. Legal and medical fees can be unbearable.
To help prevent slip and falls, and increase floor safety, experts have identified three general causes:
- Environmental: snow, rain, soil and dust. Proper floor mates both in and outside entryways helps absorb moisture and environment elements being tracked into the facility helping to prevent an accident.
- Social: age, footwear or lack of attention. Shoes that are too big can get caught or if too small, feet get cramped causing a person’s balance to be off. These accidents happen regardless of the environment.
- Physical: poor vision, lack of stability, walking struggles, etc. Areas need to be properly identified with signs pointing out hazardous conditions. Proper use of floor finished and cleaning chemicals also can reduce accidents. Stay away from shiny finished that contain oils which reduces the friction on flat surfaces.
The NFSI recommends following these guidelines when selecting flooring in a facility:
- Slip resistance – coefficient of friction of .6 or higher in wet conditions
- Ease of cleaning – dirt and grease can be easily removed without building up
- Ease of maintenance – select appropriate floor cleaners for floor type
- Durability – select flooring that will hold up for usage
- Absorption – floors absorbing moisture will also absorb contaminants
- Frost resistance – expand and contract with temperature changes are more likely to crack, crumble and decay
SlipNOT® Metal Safety Flooring manufactures an all metal slip resistant product applied only to metal surfaces such as steel, aluminum and stainless steel. These products can be utilized as safety flooring, custom fabricated to dimensions. The coating is applied mechanically by a plasma deposition therefore the metal is embedded into the surface making it a permanent slip resistant solution. SlipNOT® maintains a .85 or higher coefficient of friction when water or oils come into contact with the flooring, preventing slips and falls. SlipNOT® can be applied to plates, grate, ladder rungs and covers, nosings, planks, expanded metal, perforated plate and more.
Clean Link. (2008, February 1). Preventing Slips, Trips and Falls. Retrieved October 26, 2011.