Broken bones, head injuries, neck injuries, sprained joints and lacerations – these are just some of the injuries that can come from a slip, trip or fall. Such injuries are why it is so important to do whatever we can to prevent slipping and falling incidents, but how can this be done in high-traffic areas?
High-traffic areas such as hallways, walkways and food preparation areas can be challenging to keep safe as the amount of traffic often causes those on it to give less attention to where they’re going. It can also be challenging for proprietors of such areas since constant use of the area minimises the window of time when the area can be properly maintained. Be that as it may it’s still imperative that these areas be secured, especially because they are used so much and so often.
The key to keeping these areas safe is prevention. Below are some preventative measures you can take to minimise slips, trips and falls in high-traffic areas:
1. Establish good housekeeping practices
Good housekeeping and safety go hand-in-hand. When you have good housekeeping practices you have clean, well-organised spaces free from clutter and spills that can cause accidents. Proper housekeeping procedures must be part of the daily routine, with specific people or a group of people assigned with these tasks. Of course everyone is enjoined to maintain cleanliness and orderliness as well.
2. Reduce wet or slippery surfaces
Spills and slippery surfaces are among the most common causes for slips, trips and falls. Avoid these by making sure that any and all spills are cleaned up immediately, and that appropriate ‘wet floor’ signs be placed. Use absorbent mats with anchored backing that will not slip on the floor, and for areas that are prone to getting wet (such as outdoor areas) maintain a proper drainage or use platform mats.
For slippery surfaces, make sure to:
- Use anti-skid adhesive tape or paint when possible
- Have handrails or other such stable balance aides present
- When snow and ice are present, remove or treat them. If this is not possible or in extreme cases, suspend the use of the area
3. Establish rules and regulations
This is of particular importance in high-traffic areas. There should be a strict no running, pushing or shoving policy. Pedestrians should stay in their assigned lanes. The area must also be kept free from clutter and other obstacles including cords, cables, hoses and other items. In offices, safe work practices must be established, such as closing cabinet drawers when not in use and picking up loose items from the floor.
4. Maintain proper lighting
Poor lighting is another cause of slips, trips and falls. Always make sure that high-traffic areas are well lit, with light switches clearly visible and accessible. Any malfunction in fixtures, switches and cords must be fixed immediately.
5. Have warning signs for changes
Changes in elevation, lighting and even flooring material are a major cause of slip and trip accidents. Even a slight change or crack on the floor can be enough to cause someone to trip. Make sure to have all cracks and damage fixed immediately, and have clear and visible warning signs for any changes in elevation or for slip-prone areas.
6. Routinely check for damage
Regularly schedule checks for damages. These damages would include cracks, bumps, potholes, frayed carpeting, loose tiles, etc. Once found, make sure to have them fixed as soon as possible.
7. Arrange for slip testing
Last but certainly not least, have Slip Check assess the safety of these high-traffic areas and flooring. We’re the authority when it comes to floor safety and floor testing services, and will make sure that all your bases are covered when it comes to securing your high-traffic floors. Get in touch with us today to know more.