CNA Financial Corporation (CNA), a prominent insurance and risk management company, released a Slip and Fall Study Report that examined the floor safety in various industries. CNA walkway specialists emphasize that to maintain workplace safety, companies must choose appropriate flooring, test the floors for resistance under wet conditions, use appropriate cleaning agents for the floor type, and promote awareness of risk conditions related to flooring and the surrounding physical environment.
A two-year study of hard surface floors in commercial workplaces revealed that half of all workplace floors studied did not meet slip-resistance standards set forth by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). According to the CNA report, 40 percent of slip and fall liability claims between January 2010 and December 2016 involved workplace accidents that occurred on walking and working surfaces, 33 percent occurred on parking lot surfaces, 27 percent occurred on sidewalks leading to building entrances, and less than one percent of harmful events occurred on interior office floors. The highest number of incidents occurred in the retail industry, followed by real estate, construction, health care, and professional services.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recently implemented new rules aimed to help prevent slip and fall injuries from occurring on walking and working surfaces. The CNA report outlines the four principles of floor safety; floor selection, slip resistance training, floor maintenance, and risk awareness to help businesses apply safety measures, remain in compliance with safety rules and standards, and provide appropriate Workers’ Compensation benefits in the event that a worker suffers a slip and fall on-the-job.
Floor selection is critical to floor safety. Businesses should carefully consider whether each flooring option is appropriate for the intended use of the walkway. Slip resistance, chemical resistance, durability, care, maintenance, as well as other factors, should be considered when making a flooring decision.
Slip Resistance Testing
The Tile Council of North America (TCNA) published a new standard in April 2017 regarding the dynamic coefficient of friction (DCOF) of hard surface floors. The DCOF is the measurement of resistance force while an object is in motion. Business owners should consult with certified walkway specialists to ensure their compliance with the new industry standard, create a comprehensive floor safety program, and create a database of DCOF measurements.
Floors must be cleaned and maintained according to manufacturer recommendations. A slip resistant floor can become dangerous when contaminates layer over its original surface. Only compatible cleaning products and appropriate maintenance methods should be used.
Risk Awareness and Control Measures
Business owners are responsible for increasing employees’ risk awareness so that workers are cognizant of their gait, vision, and other factors that may affect their risk of suffering a slip and fall accident at work. They should also take certain control measures to safeguard against risks, including being proactive in analyzing and making necessary changes to walkways, providing training on fall-related safety principles, designing safe walkways and entrances, and reducing glare and design contrast when selecting floors.
Columbia Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A. Represent Victims Injured at Work
Employers are required to provide their employees with a safe workplace, free from hazards that may result in a slip and fall accident. If you were injured on-the-job, contact the knowledgeable Columbia Workers’ Compensation lawyers at Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A.. For a free consultation, contact us online or call us at 803-929-3600.
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