The old story of someone slipping in a store and suing the store gets a pretty cynical reaction from store owners. In fact, customers aren’t the only people at risk. Slip injuries can be very serious, and could be a real risk to you and your staff. They can also be a risk to good customers.
The slip problem defined
Slip injuries are caused by:
- Unsafe surfaces, like degraded non-slip floors
- Dropped groceries
- Fast food spills
- Soap from floor cleaning
- Footwear without cleats or other non-slip features
To be clear, slips are statistically inevitable at some time unless you make sure you’ve got a no-slip surface.
The risks are:
- Instant business liability
- Serious injuries, particularly to children
- Civil lawsuits in relation to how you manage any claim if the litigant isn’t happy with the outcome
If that sounds expensive, it is. There are legitimate grounds for litigation in all these situations. This is a case where prevention can save you a fortune.
Slip prevention options
There are some very good anti-slip options:
Undeniably the best option for managing slip risks is comparatively new. There’s a large range of new types of safety mats now on the market which provide very reliable prevention for slip issues. These mats are excellent for high usage areas. Additionally, portable mats provide effective damage control around spills or hazards.
The mats provide good traction, are waterproof, and have proven very reliable. They also do a lot to reduce the effect of a fall as a result of a slip incident. They’re resilient and made of rubber, so the impact is naturally reduced significantly. You may have seen some of these mats in big stores as walkways or around entrances. They’re quite common around railway stations and other public areas as well.
Heavy duty carpets
Not entirely slip-immune, heavy duty carpets are however very good at reducing the damage from falls. They also provide a lot more traction for feet. These are a good anti-slip option where décor issues dictate a store image.
In practice, a lot of high end stores are getting the message about mats and combining them with carpets to cover all angles.
Redesign of flooring
The other big issue with slip prevention is that it can be a very complex process to manage flooring. It can also be expensive. The comparison of costs comes down on the side of mats, but interior décor is always a big issue for any business. In practice, redesign has to factor in risk management at the same time as managing costs.
Generally speaking the redesign will work on a strictly practical basis:
- The mats and walkway covers are used in dedicated public areas, like fast lines, entrances, and high usage zones on the premises, including staff amenities rooms, etc.
- Carpets are used in other areas, offices and workstation areas. In addition to being a good aesthetic mix, the ability to choose different options provides options depending on the price.
Take a good look at what’s possible; there are real issues to be solved and very simple solutions.