As a business owner it is your duty to make sure your employees and the public are safe when on your premises. There are many different aspects of safety that must be taken into consideration from making sure fire alarms are working to having a first aider on site to ensuring staff are competent when it comes to tasks like lifting and handling, the list goes on. There is however one area that is often overlooked and that is floor safety. It is also one aspect that cant be avoided, we all have a floor and we all have a responsibility to make sure that floor is safe.
When it comes to floor safety business owners should be looking at areas like:
Are there any uneven surfaces or other trip hazards?
Are there any cracks or repairs that must be looked at?
Does there need to be any nosing put on stairs?
Is my floor kept clean, dry and clear of debris throughout the day?
Is the floor slippery when wet?
You may be surprised to hear that a huge amount of floors up and down the country fail a Pendulum Slip Test*. The reality that so little is done to prevent slips from occurring may come as a surprise when facts show that of the estimated 555,000 non-fatal injuries to workers in 2017/18, 31% of those were Slips Trips and Falls, the highest percentage in the survey, edging out Handling, Lifting and Carrying (21%).
What is a Pendulum Slip Test?
A Pendulum Slip Test is a British Standard assessment that is designed to replicate a persons heel striking a particular surface at the point at which most slips happen. The test should be carried out by a trained professional so the results obtained are accurate.
The facts outlined above are one of the reasons why floor safety shouldn't be taken lightly by business owners. A slip, trip or fall on your premises can cost you in so many ways. If its an employee who has the accident it will cost you not only in man hours but also with a potential compensation claim. This too should be your biggest concern when it comes to the public as well. In my experience over half of the slip tests I'm called out on are because someone has had an accident and there is a potential claim coming the business owners way. One example was of an office building we were called to in central London. We were told a high profile ‘celebrity’ had slipped in reception and was suing the building owners for a 6 figure sum!
An unsafe floor will almost always let you down!
However this need not be the case. Identifying that you have an issue with unsafe floors using the Pendulum Slip Test is the first step on the way to preventing potential issues once and for all.
It is strongly advised that you book a professional to test your floors as they know how to properly use the pendulum test machine and how to obtain accurate results. Most slip testing professionals will also be able to provide you with a concise report and further advise on how to tackle any issues that may arise in the testing.
Now is the time to ask yourself, are my floors safe?
If the answer to that question is no then do yourself a favour and seek advice of how to change that ‘No’ to a ‘Yes’!