People are Falling – Statistics are NOT

This is the eye catching title of a 2015 article posted in Canada’s Occupational Health & Safety Magazine. According to the article, more than 40,000 Canadian workers are injured on the job due to a slip and fall accident. Along with the personal suffering, this costs employers and the government millions of dollars annually as a result of actual medical expenses and reduced worker productivity.

In the US, with ten times the population, the slip and fall statistics are staggering. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that there are more than eight million hospital emergency visits each year due to slip and fall accidents making this the leading cause of hospital visits in the country. And this ends up costing employers, insurance companies, and government entities more than $70 billion per year.

Even that’s not the end of the story. Not only are people falling all over North America, but they are also dying. According to written reports, about 900 people die each year in Canada as a consequence of a slip and fall accident. In the US, approximately 20,000 people lose their lives as a consequence of a slip and fall accident.

So why is this happening? Some of the reasons for these slip and fall accidents include the following:
• Poor lighting in facilities, especially over walking surfaces
• Lack of protective devices such as railings over stairs and along potentially dangerous walkways
• Ladders and scaffolding in poor condition or not used correctly
• Fall protection equipment is either not worn, or the wrong protective gear is worn
• Lack of safety training
• Poor housekeeping.

It is this last item, poor housekeeping, we would like to address. Proper cleaning is all important in helping to cut workplace accidents. Soil, grit, grease, oil and the like can all make a surface hazardous and slippery.

Plus, we should add something else. When walkways and surfaces are soiled, workers have a tendency to take more risks when they walk. Needless to say, risks can be very risky when it comes to slip and fall accidents. One bad step can result in a serious injury.
However, just the opposite can be true as well. When surfaces are kept cleaned and well-maintained, it tells workers their employers care about their welfare. This is respected and appreciated and it encourages workers to take their own steps in keeping the facility – including walking surfaces – safe and clean.
But along with proper cleaning and care, we need to point out something that is crucial in preventing slip and fall accidents and that is the use of floor cleaning products and finishes that promote worker safety. For instance, one of Avmor’s new floor cleaners, TF153, is designed to suspend soils, including slippery soils, so they can be easily removed by mopping or auto scrubbing. The product also has special additives that help improve traction, which helps prevent a slip and fall accident.
Along with using the right floor cleaning solution, applying the right floor finish is critical to floor safety. Avmor has just introduced several floor finishes for use on a variety of different floor types, with all designed to promote walker safety.
For instance, our TF385 dries quickly – which helps cut labor costs – but for our purposes here, it also has anti-slip properties that provide long-term floor safety. This finish can be burnished, which not only restores the floor’s shine, but helps ensure the floor maintains its anti-slip properties.
When it comes to promoting floor safety, we should add one more thing. Floor care products are often designed to work together. What this implies is that selecting one floor cleaner from one manufacturer and a floor finish from another may negatively impact floor safety. It is always best when selecting a variety of floor care products to select them from the same manufacturer.
For more information on floor care products designed to help reduce slip and fall accidents and promote worker safety, please contact an Avmor representative.

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