Surveillance to Detect Slip and Fall Hazards on Commercial Floors

Surveillance of floors to detect spills, dropped produce, and other hazards is an important part of many safety plans, particularly on floors that have poor wet slip resistance. This includes most floors in customer areas of supermarkets. In one supermarket slip and fall case, a court ruled that inspections every 12 minutes were necessary in certain areas of the store. Supermarkets use signed “sweep sheets” to document their inspections, which may or may not include actual sweeping.

Your safety plan might include formal, documented surveillance of floors as an alternative to having floors of increased slip resistance. If so, don’t assume that surveillance has no cost just because workers who are already on the payroll conduct it. What, your employees don’t have anything else to do?

Remember also that some lubricants might be present in such thin layers that they’re very hard to detect visually. Examples include spray products tested in the store by customers: perfumes, WD-40 lubricant, silicone spray polishes, etc.

Let’s assume that your uncle manages a Wal-Mart Supercenter that has five acres of floor under one roof. He needs a good contractor to conduct routine surveillance on his floors for spills and other hazards, and he suggests that you bid on the job. The only snag is that if you miss an inspection and an accident occurs, you are liable for the losses. How much would you want to be paid for that job? (First check that you can actually get insurance for it, and how much the premium will be.)

Getting back to your real-life situation, don’t forget to assess the cost of formal floor surveillance if it’s part of your safety plan. Keep that cost in mind when you weigh the cost of remediating the floors so that they’re not slippery when wet with water or with other reasonably expected contaminants. Better floors might save you money. If you rely on regular walk-in customers — including seniors — you might also enjoy higher sales if customers feel more secure on your floors than on your competitor’s floors.

SparkleTuff™ transparent anti-slip coating from Safety Direct America can improve the wet (or otherwise lubricated) slip resistance of almost any floor, and is long-lasting — it passes the McDonalds Restaurants test for Sustainable Slip Resistance. Material cost is about $1 per square foot in areas of 500 sq ft or more — cheaper than a broken hip.

We are also experts in reliable, research-backed floor slip resistance testing services, both in the lab and all over the USA and beyond. Worried that you may have a serious slip and fall accident waiting to happen on your smooth, shiny floors? Give us a call.

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