Your primary safety should be your concern, no matter where you are. However, you should also be looking out for the safety of others if you own property the public frequents. Looking out for telltale signs that a floor is unsafe will prevent injury and save you on any costs related to recovery for either you, individuals who visit your property or your employees.
So what exactly should you be looking out for and what can you do to prevent these fall risks?
Wet Floors and Walkways
Accidents can happen, and whether a floor is wet due to weather or a container of spilt liquid, you need to take care of these problems soon. Liquid removes any friction between your shoes and the floor, making it much easier for you to slip and fall.
Another source of wet floors is janitorial: the floor has been mopped and left to dry. Place “wet floor” signs in either case or else you’ve assumed responsibility for the injury of any person after an accident takes place.
Aisles and Paths filled with Clutter
Owners of property are required to keep paths clear of equipment, debris, or supplies so that they don’t create tripping hazards. Not only are these hazards a danger for customers, but they can also injure your employees as well. A 2009 study shows that in one year, at least 800 American workers fell to their deaths from tripping hazards. Create a safe space by keeping your walking paths clear and having designated areas where you can keep equipment and supplies. Refrain from sticking large, heavy items on higher shelves to decrease the risk of them falling and injuring someone.
Damaged Floors and Floor Coverings
Loose carpets or splintered tiles are an easy trip hazard that is more complicated to clear up. Your floor area should be examined on a regular basis and any problems should be taken care of as soon as possible before they become too big and more expensive. If you have stairs on the property, take a look at handrails and the steps themselves to ensure they’re not broken or loose either. A fall down a set of stairs can result in very serious injuries.
There are certain floor materials that are naturally more slippery than others. Hardwood, glass, ceramic tile and certain kinds of stone all create a risk for slipping and falling. Invest the time to do some research on these materials before adding them to your property so that you can minimize or eliminate the risk altogether. Having nice flooring can bring a wonderful aesthetic to the place, but you’re not going to get many compliments if people are slipping on it all the time.
Ensuring the safety of your floors will save you a lot of hassle and money in the future. Take the steps to pick the right materials, inspect them often, and provide warning signs so that people are aware of certain conditions you have no control over. By exercising responsibility at the get-go, you won’t be held responsible later on.
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