In the United States, the top five injuries that lead to workers’ compensation are caused by slip and fall accidents, totalling over 540,000 hospitalizations annually.
In 2015, the US Bureau of Statistics reported the total compensation costs for employees averaged $33.19 per hour. Business owners and facilities maintenance management should take precautionary action to prevent these liability accidents from occurring, as the impact on a business can be significant.
Here are some helpful tips from Rhode Island Hospital for reducing the risk of injuries.
- Wipe spills as soon as they occur
- Place non-skid mats on bathroom floors
- Clear debris from walking paths
- Keep walkways well lit
- Provide “wet floor” signs when necessary
Accidents like this one are preventable by identifying the hazard areas in the facility:
Legal Case 101:
Slip and Fall in Fitness Club Shower
A 38-year-old woman was a member of a Fitness Club on the West Coast. After exercising, she showered in the club locker room. Upon exiting the shower, she slipped and fell on the wet tile, as there was no floor protection in place. She broke her wrist and suffered head trauma, resulting in a 12-week absence from work. She sued the fitness center and was awarded compensation for her missed work time and extensive medical expenses.
When spills occur, prompt cleaning must be performed on the floor to ensure a safe and hygienic area, and proper sanitization is crucial. This special attention takes more than just a mop and bucket approach to provide a safer environment. When considering the benefits of placing mats in strategic areas throughout a facility they far outweigh the risks of a workers compensation claim, medical expenses, and a bad reputation.
Common areas to watch out for wet floor hazards are:
- Water fountains
- Food preparation areas
- Entryways and exits
- Medical areas
- Janitorial closets
- Gyms and fitness center locker rooms
- Showering areas
In the restroom, urine splashes around toilet and urinal fixtures create slippery floor surfaces. If not cleaned up promptly the uric acid will cause extreme odors and deterioration of the ceramic tile and grout. All this can lead to expensive repairs and increased labor time to attend to the frequent clean ups.
In a recent study by ISSA and Clorox found that 4 in 5 maintenance personnel indicated restroom cleaning as a time consuming and very difficult job. While 67% cited urine stain and odor removal as being the toughest cleaning task, with 45% stating that the removal of persistent odors is extremely difficult. The average expense of deep cleaning fixtures and floors can equal $200 per restroom.
The cost effective solution to keeping the workplace safe and sanitary: Citron Hygiene’s?UniMat treats residue immediately on contact, making the facility easier to maintain. Its non-slip backing assures that the mats stay in place, protecting the common wet floor hazard areas from stains and odors, while safeguarding against slip and fall risks.