A very apt ‘Guest Blog’ at Really Good FM thinking given the sudden change in weather. Often an area of Managing Facilities which can be overlooked for a whole host of reasons, Allyson Bryan explains why keeping your house in order and adopting an integrated approach to accident management can pay off in more ways than one…
When managing facilities, one of the things to consider is the prevention of slip and fall injuries in the workplace. Liquid spills in the workplace lead directly to slips and falls which can injure employees. They can also damage a company’s hard-earned reputation, lead to financial payouts, increase production costs with the additional hiring of temporary employees, and result in poor employee morale.
Companies have a legal obligation under Health and Safety to ensure that all employees work within a safe workplace. The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 are key legislation to review.
The good news is that with preventative steps in place, slip and fall prevention becomes part of the complete management of the facility.
A slip and fall occurs when a contaminant intervenes between the floor and the person using it. To reduce them, try this 4-step process to give them the slip:
- Identify the risk of slip incidents in the workplace
- Develop ways to isolate liquids from contacting the floor.
- Develop ways to control and contain liquid spills should they occur.
- Educate and train to sustain best practice and mitigate risk.
When managing a facility, you get to know the ins and outs of a workplace and that is critical in assessing each area for potential risks. Consider where liquids are used, stored, transported and disposed. Examine battery and drum storage areas, manufacturing areas, janitorial and maintenance areas, amongst other indoor and outdoor areas.
Be sure to involve everyone in the Risk Assessment phase. People can spot risks that others may not see so it’s important to involve everyone in this first step.
Once a Risk Assessment is completed, be sure to isolate liquids from contacting the floor. Within the workplace, liquids will be used in production, cleaning, testing, maintenance and transport. Make sure you are in compliance with all current liquid storage regulations and review your workflow layout to ensure that liquids are being transported through the workplace no more than necessary. Make certain that liquid storage is correctly sign-posted and proper equipment is used whilst transporting liquids.
No matter how careful you are, you may still need to control and contain a liquid spill. It is ideal to capture a leak from machinery, drums and other sources before they hit the floor. Absorbent mats, socks, drip pans and spill containment pallets are ideal for this application. Ensure that spill kits and absorbents are placed in high risk areas for fast, effective spill cleanup.
Don’t forget to train and educate employees at the workplace. Slips and falls are best avoided through thorough preparation, education and practice.
By following these four steps, you can help give liquid spills and slips and falls the SLIP!