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Do you have a Floor Safety Plan to Help You Avoid Dangerous Accidents? 

Jun 13, 2022 / Floor Care


In any type of workplace—whether it’s an office building, a retail store, or an industrial space—slips and falls are incredibly common. And they can happen to any type of employee, from a construction worker to a manager that primarily sits at a desk. 

According to the National Safety Council, in 2020, 805 workers died in falls, and 211,640 were injured badly enough to have to take days off work. A worker does not have to fall from a height to suffer injuries. Of those 805 fatalities, 136 workers were killed from falls on the same level. 

Here are some more important facts about slips and falls: 

  • Slips and falls are the leading cause of workers’ compensation claims and the leading cause of occupational injury for people aged 55 and older. 
  • Floors and flooring materials contribute directly to more than two million fall injuries each year, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). 
  • Slip and fall accidents account for more than 1 million hospital emergency room visits per year. 

No employer wants to see an employee injured while working. So what can you do to avoid these types of hazards? Ensure you are practicing appropriate floor safety measures. Here’s what you need to know. 

Understanding OSHA slip resistance standards  

Three physical factors are involved in trips and falls: friction, momentum, and gravity. The United States Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) uses something called the coefficient of friction flooring standards to help guide employers when it comes to floor safety. 

Based on a University of Michigan Study, OSHA recommends that walking surfaces have slip coefficient of friction (COF) standards of .5. The COF is an objective numerical value that describes the amount of traction between one’s foot or shoe and the surface beneath it. 

Where an employee’s shoes contact the floor is the driving factor behind slip resistance or friction, therefore, any contaminant on the floor surface can contribute to accidents. To maintain a safe working environment for all of your employees, you’ll need to make sure the COF of your floors is at least .5 per OSHA’s guidelines.  

So what’s next? Develop a floor safety plan

How to go about your floor safety plan: 

1. Audit

Your first step should be to check your flooring for any chips, cracks, worn slip-resistant treads, or loose mats. In addition, OSHA requires you to perform regular inspections to ensure your floors are free of contaminants, defects, or other imperfections that could contribute to slip, trip, or fall injuries. 

2. Create a floor maintenance plan

Working with a company that provides professional floor cleaning services to create a customized maintenance plan is the best way to ensure floor safety for your employees and visitors.

When you do so, your floors will not only look fabulous, but you’ll have confidence that there is no dirt, grit, or other tripping hazards. And of course, regular cleaning and sanitization removes bacteria and ensures there is a minimal spread of germs for a healthy work environment. 

Here is what your floor maintenance plan should involve: 

  • Daily dust mopping helps clear away any surface dirt to prevent it from permanently damaging the finish.
  • Wet mopping removes any additional dried debris that remains after sweeping or dry mopping. The best time to mop a floor is when there is little or no traffic in your facility so that it can dry completely before anyone walks on it. Wet floors are slip and fall hazards and if people walk over them, they can track more dirt and other contaminants on your newly clean floor.  
  • Burnishing and buffing are extra steps that smooth over scratches or irregularities on the surface of your floor. Professional cleaning services use expert machines that leave your floor with a high-gloss, wet-look shine. Experts recommend buffing up to once a month, burnishing high traffic areas once a week, and burnishing low traffic areas once a month. 

3. Choose the right surface cleaners 

Professional floor maintenance services and professional floor waxing companies work with solutions that are specifically formulated for cleaning specific floor surfaces to minimize buildup and damage and ensure optimal results. In addition, experts know how to use floor cleaners as directed to prevent hazardous buildup and premature wear. 

Southwest Cleaning: Expert commercial floor cleaning services

Southwest Cleaning Services has provided Lubbock area businesses with the highest quality janitorial services since 1991. Our floor maintenance services include commercial floor waxing, floor polishing and burnishing, hard floor cleaning, and carpet cleaning. 

We serve the following industries: Medical facilities, Offices, Banks, Showrooms and Construction cleanup. Want to learn more about why our customers love our services? Read some of our recent reviews

We’d love to speak with you to discuss your janitorial service needs so we can create a customized plan. Contact us for a quote today! 

Your business is unique. Therefore, you deserve an office cleaning program tailored to fit your specific needs. Since 1991 Southwest Cleaning has provided the highest quality Lubbock commercial cleaning and Lubbock janitorial services.

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