Slip and fall accidents can be dangerous, both for bodily harm and for liability. Cleaning staff need to be fully educated and trained in how to keep floors clean without making them excessively slippery.
The reason a floor is slippery isn’t always readily apparent. Factors like cleaning products, improperly applied finish, and poor equipment can all contribute to slippery floor conditions.
Safe and effective cleaning methods are one of the best ways to assure floors are suitable for use. Approaching floor cleaning with an eye for detail and a penchant for thoroughness will help reduce slippage. Properly cleaned and finished floors should have minimal slippage.
Some reasons for slippery floors and solutions are:
- The wrong chemicals or cleaning products were used. Whatever product you use to finish a floor with, it should say on the label that it is slip resistant. Higher quality products, though often more expensive, are also usually worth the investment and will provide a better surface after a floor is cleaned. A good all-purpose cleaner used in tandem with a clean mop and bucket will do wonders.
- Finish was improperly applied. Getting the right amount of finish on a floor is paramount to how slippery the floor may become. Too little or too much finish can both result in a slippery floor. The best approach is to apply three or four modest coats, checking for slippage before adding more. By testing a floor after each coat, you will gradually find the sweet spot.
- Dirty or over-saturated mop. Mopping a floor with a dirty mop will result in a dirty, oftentimes slippery, floor. Use floor treatments that are non-oil based, and make sure your dust mop is clean.
- Dirty tools. Buckets, floor mops, scrub brushes and machine washers can all become dirty, grimy and greasy over time. Thoroughly cleaning buckets, using new mop liners and mops when refinishing floors and keeping washing equipment clean and well-maintained will help reduce slippage.
In extreme cases where a floor has been mistreated or damaged over a long period of time and remains slippery, a floor may need to be stripped and refinished. Machine scrub a damaged floor before resorting to stripping, however. Sometimes a thorough wash with a powerful machine can set things straight.
The most important thing a cleaning agency can do to keep floors minimally slippery is regular, proper cleaning with high quality products, all-purpose cleaners and equipment.
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