Don’t Slip Up on Safety this World Day for Safety & Health at Work
26 Apr 2016
The International Labour Organization’s World Day for Safety and Health at Work, taking place on April 28th, will focus on raising awareness for occupational safety and health and on the magnitude of work-related injuries, diseases and fatalaties around the world.
A key aspect of workplace safety that Flowcrete India helps industrial and commercial clients with every day is the issue of slips, trips and falls (STFs) – a common risk that the right anti-slip floor finish can go a long way to remedying.
As a global company, Flowcrete is aware that this is a serious problem around the world. The US Department of Labor estimates that 15 percent of accidental workplace deaths are caused by STFs, while studies in Germany have shown that the main cause of accidents in the meat, fish and dairy industries is insufficiently slip resistant floors and in Spain slips are the main cause of accident for people attending leisure facilities.
The extent of the problem is exemplified by a figure from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), part of the US Department of Labor, which estimates that 17% of all non-fatal workplace injuries and 15% of all workplace deaths are caused by STFs.
The main risk factors that typically lead to an STF event include the floor being wet, uneven or with variable levels of friction, level changes, poor visibility and slippery substances falling on the finish.
The conseqeuence of a slip or fall can be disastrous, leading not only to a potentially serious injury or even death, but also exposing the employer to expensive compensation claims that can be highly detrimental both financially and reputationally, as well as lost productivity, staff replacement costs and equipment damage – in fact the OSHA estimates that the actual cost to a company from an injury can be as much as four times the claim costs.
Choosing the right floor for the environment will significantly reduce the risk of an STF event occurring. This is especially critical in working areas prone to wet conditions, such as seafood processing facilities, dairies and pool surrounds, where the floor will need to be postively textured to enhance traction underfoot.
Anti-slip aggregates can be incorporated into resin floor finishes to enhance safety onsite. The seamless, impervious nature of resin coatings and the ability to incorporate coving and stainless steel drainage into the finish makes them easy to clean, which helps to ensure that water and slippery contaminants are quickly removed from the area.
Other ways to prevent STFs include having bright and clear wet floor signage, avoiding surface irregularities, ensuring that the cleaning regime can remove contaminants without compromising the integrity of the floor, providing appropriate footwear, preparing for seasonal hazards, designating safe walkways and minimising hazards such as trailing cables, loose flooring and unnecessary obstructions.
When going throught the specification process for anti-slip flooring it is important to carefully consider the future demands of the site and the potential for accidents to occur. For example, industrial facilities should know what oils and greases are going to be used onsite and that they can be cleaned away effectively, while commercial venues need to ensure that the safety considerations are not overshadowed by aesthetic or budgetary factors.
Once the safety and workload criteria has been identified, the designers should discuss their requirements with a supplier and applicator well experienced in similar flooring projects to ensure that the finished surface will actively help to prevent injuries from slips, trips or falls.
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Notes to Editors
Flowcrete India has offices in Bangalore, Chennai, Mumbai and New Delhi and is one of the four divisions that make up Flowcrete Group Ltd.
Flowcrete Group Ltd. is a world leader in the manufacture of seamless industrial and commercial resin floor, wall and coving solutions as well as other specialist coating technologies. Flowcrete Group Ltd. is a subsidiary of RPM International Inc. and has international manufacturing facilities in Europe and Africa as well as Central and South East Asia.
Flowcrete supplies world-class seamless flooring solutions to transform environments across the globe including; decorative seamless resins, waterproof car park deck coating systems, seamless resin terrazzo, durable antimicrobial flooring, fast curing systems, corrosion protection and self-levelling underlayments.
Flowcrete's ambitious and dedicated team, led by President Craig Brookes, is inspired by excellence in people, products and service as well as continual innovation and sustainable growth. Flowcrete continues to use its global expertise to introduce environmentally friendly, hygienic and aesthetically attractive floors to create a better and more sustainable world.