08/24/2005

Cleaning can be a significant factor in slip accidents

Correct cleaning to remove contamination is influential in reducing slip
accidents, confirms a report by the British Health and Safety Laboratory (HSL),
however, the process of cleaning can itself present, and contribute to, slip
and trip hazards. HSL has observed cases where cleaning floors in a more
effective manner can significantly improve the slip resistance.

A just published study, The Efficacy of Cleaning Regimes, found that there was
a need for more guidance on the matter, there being a sometimes poor
understanding of both the process and effects of floor cleaning.

The results of this study show how important and influential cleaning can be.
Where cleaning is carried out effectively, it can make the difference between a
floor presenting an unacceptably high slip risk or an acceptably low slip risk.
Equally, the study shows the pitfalls of using inappropriate cleaning, where
visible contamination is removed, removing the visual prompt for a user to
proceed with caution, but leaving the floor as slippery as when heavily
contaminated. In a situation such as this, it may be safer not to clean than to
clean badly!

The following conclusions were reached and further work identified:

  • The effect of cleaning on slips is not well understood by workers in the
    cleaning sector.
  • The process of cleaning is not well understood by workers in the cleaning
    sector.
  • There is a clear need for guidance from HSE.
  • The guidance needs to be accessible to all, from management to operatives.
  • Further study of simple techniques (mops and manual brillo scrubbers) and
    buffing machines would be beneficial.

Further info


AplusA-online.de - Source: Health and Safety Executive