Employers: How safe is your floor?
09 July 2015
Any employer will know they have a duty of care to their employees to provide a safe working environment.
The most common workplace accidents are slips and trips, which can result in anything from a slight bump to broken bones. No one wants to endanger their workforce, so it obviously makes good business sense to keep floors clean, tidy and well maintained.
How safe is your floor? And what can you do to remove any risks?
Loose cables, curled up carpets, trailing coats, stacked up boxes…all of these are hazards that could cause someone to stumble and hurt themselves. It’s easy to trip over something left dangling on the floor, slide on a spill that someone didn’t notice they’d made or slip on a floor made wet from hundreds of pairs of shoes coming in out of the rain.
There are solutions to remove most of these hazards of course. Cable tidies, placing a mat at the door for people to wipe their feet on, ensuring that carpets have been properly adhered to the ground and making sure coats and boxes are put away properly. Really, it’s about using your common sense.
You may not strictly speaking be responsible for the maintenance of the carpets – perhaps that’s the role of your facilities management team or the building landlord, however, maintenance of flooring is important for keeping staff and the public safe, so if you do spot an issue, you should report it. This isn’t just large, obvious problems; you should also report cracks in tiles (that could break and become loose over time), a generically slippery surface (replace with a non-slip alternative) or wrinkles in carpets (over which you might trip).
However, as an employer, you can only do so much; you can’t be in all places at once looking for potential risks. Therefore, you need to ensure that your staff members understand they too have a responsibility for their own safety and the prevention of accidents. Make them aware of what constitutes a hazard and communicate your health and safety policy. By doing so, you could prevent a significant number of accidents, and save yourself from the inevitable compensation claims at the same time.
How safe is your floor? It might be a good idea to have a quick look around your workplace to assess and/or identify any potential issues. Doing so could save you and your employees a lot of heartache further down the line.
Written by www.flooringmegastore.co.uk