Avoiding Slips and Falls
According to the Occupational Safety & Health Administration
(OSHA), slips, trips, and falls constitute the majority of general worker
accidents. They cause 15% of all accidental deaths, and are second only
to motor vehicles as a cause of fatalities. Like those businesses offering
sunless spray services, the OSHA standards for walking and working surfaces
apply to all permanent places of employment.
GENERAL OSHA REQUIREMENTS
Some of the most frequently overlooked general requirements involve
Aisles and Passageways
- All places of employment, passageways, storerooms, and service areas
shall be kept clean and orderly and in a sanitary condition.
- The floor of every workroom shall be maintained in a clean and, so
far as possible, a dry condition. Where wet processes are used, drainage
shall be maintained and gratings, mats, or raised platforms shall be
Aisles and passageways shall be kept clear
and in good repair with no obstruction across or in aisles that could
create a hazard.
Permanent aisles and passageways shall be appropriately marked. Where
mechanical handling equipment is used, aisles shall be sufficiently wide.
Improper aisle widths coupled with poor housekeeping and vehicle traffic
can cause injury to employees, damage the equipment and material, and
can limit a way out in emergencies.
Most experts agree that at the most basic level, a slip occurs because
of inadequate slip resistance between the shoe and the floor. Slips are
generally caused by the interaction of any or all of three factors:
Steps To Prevention
- Flooring, and
- Contaminants (substances that may come between the floor and the
shoe like sunless solutions).
The consensus among slip experts is that successful prevention programs
address all the controllable factors. Most experts agree that flooring more
than footwear and contaminants should be primarily considered. Short of
replacing the entire walking surface, there are cost-effective options for
increasing a floor's slip resistance:
- Paint floors in high-risk work areas with abrasive material;
- Etch the surface with acids, such as hydrofluoric acid; or
- Place slip-resistant mats in the most slip-prone areas.
The floor treatment that is most appropriate for a particular work environment
will depend on the nature of the floor and the hazards that are present…
this means a formal, written program that specifies the proper cleaners
for each contaminant, the use of barricades and warnings, and the training
of employees on the proper procedure for floor cleaning.
Typically, when cleaning the floor in the area of sunless spray application,
you need to do more than mop. That just spreads the sunless solution around.
You need to agitate and actually remove the solution with cleaners designed
to thoroughly remove anything that may be on the floors surface.