CIEH Food Health & Safety Study Group. December Presentation on slips by Christian Harris, Director of Bonsystems

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1 CIEH Food Health & Safety Study Group December 2014 Presentation on slips by Christian Harris, Director of Bonsystems Christian Harris Director Bonasystems Europe Ltd The Imex Building Maxted Road Hemel Hempstead HP2 7DX Mob: +44 (0) Tel: +44 (0) Fax: +44 (0)

2 Slips: the background 2

3 The cost of slip accidents to employers and society is huge 600 Estimated cost of slips per annum, millions Cost to employers 133 Cost to NHS 3

4 Slips are one of the largest causes of accidents to both visitors and staff in all public places 50%+ of reported accidents to members of the public that occur in workplaces 33%+ of all major reported accidents 40%+ of all accidents to contract cleaners 4

5 Although one might think that a slip is a less serious accident, the impact of slips on hospital bed days is dramatic: 8 times more than car accidents 750,000 Hospital bed days by cause 500, ,000 0 Slips, trips and falls on a level surface Accidents involving car occupants Source: Department of Health Hospital Episode Statistics, England: financial year

6 Moreover, in an increasingly litigious society, the threat of fines for noncompliant flooring and / or poor cleaning regimes looms large Claims for individual slip accidents can range from 200 for minor injuries to thousands of pounds Aviva gives the average cost of a slip claim as 10,000 6

7 Slips: the causes 7

8 Slips can be caused by several factors Causes of slips Environment Flooring Slips potential People Cleaning Footwear Contamination and obstacles Source: 8

9 Slips are most prevalent in certain areas. These tend to have a few things in common In the vast majority of cases, the site of a slip accident will suffer from one or more of these: 1.Hard to keep clean 2.Unique contamination (soiling) 3.Higher than average foot traffic 4.Presence of water or other liquid 9

10 Therefore, most slips take place in areas such as Swimming pool surrounds Kitchens Washrooms Pubs / nightclubs Bathrooms Entrance areas Food courts / restaurants Shopping centres 10

11 Particular care should be taken on safety surfaces which actually do not give the required slip-resistance. Metal checker plate treads are a great example of this These types of floor can be found everywhere, and are specified as safety surfaces Often, though, they would fail a Pendulum test The HSE is trying to correct misconceptions about this type of floor 11

12 Slips: measurement of slipresistance 12

13 The HSE officially-recognised slip-resistance measurement tool is The Pendulum. This is the test HSE would use to measure your floors in the event of any accident / claim The Pendulum Test is the only HSE-approved legal test of a floor s safety It produces a value which indicates how slippery the floor is A floor with high slip potential is thousands of times more likely to produce an accident than a compliant floor 13

14 The guidelines on what constitutes a safe floor and how to test for this are driven by the UK Slip Resistance Group (chaired by the HSE) 14

15 Other measurement methods do exist, though these should only be used as aids and are most suitable, in HSE s view, to monitor changes over time Surface roughness metre Slip Alert HSE s Slips Assessment Tool 15

16 Slips: the legal position 16

17 To safeguard your legal position against claims / an EHO, as a bare minimum, you must ensure all floors achieve a PTV of at least 25 even under wet conditions) 17

18 The reason for the categories is that slip accident risk at PTV 36 is significantly less than at PTV24 Risk: 1 in Minimum PTV Slip potential 1,000, Low 100, Moderate 10, Moderate Moderate High 2 19 High 18

19 However, the HSE s key word when thinking about slips is Foreseeability Foreseeability Can a slip accident be foreseen? Does this environment have certain traits which make accidents more likely? (For example a swimming pool surround should have a PTV of over 36 due to being constantly wet; whereas for an internal corridor in an office block, where it cannot be foreseen that the floor will become wet, a PTV of 26 would likely be acceptable) 19

20 Something of a common sense approach should therefore be taken in your slip prevention strategy When seeking to interpret Pendulum Test results, therefore, in Bonasystems view, one should probably take a balanced, common sense view, that: The PTV should be outside of the High slip potential category (i.e. 25+), even under wet conditions, in all areas The higher the PTV the better, once it is over 25 The foreseeability of risk / an accident should be taken into account when formulating a slip prevention strategy 20

21 Above all, remember that yellow slippery floor signs are an admission of fault; they are not a way to get away from your legal responsibilities 21

22 Slips: slip prevention 22

23 Assuming a floor surface is inherently fit-for-purpose (i.e. has a PTV even in the wet of a minimum of 25+; and higher if the type of environment requires it), slip potential can be managed through the other contributing factors Environment Flooring NO Is the floor correctly specified and fit-forpurpose? YES Slips potential Footwear People Contaminatio n and obstacles Source: Cleaning What can I do about the floor to improve slipresistance? Either relay the floor with a fit-forpurpose tile, or seek to undertake remedial works to increase the slipresistance What are the most effective causes to work on to solve the problem? 1.Cleaning 2.Contamination and obstacles 3.People 4.Footwear 5.Environment 23

24 Relative importance in causing a slip SLIPS The cleaning regime is almost always the factor which has the greatest impact; it s also the easiest to change. You should therefore concentrate your efforts on ensuring a best-practice cleaning regime is in place Hierarchy of contributing factors to slips and trips People Contamination and obstacles Cleaning Footwear Factors to try to change first Environment Relative ease in implementing a solution 24

25 Given how critical cleanliness is in maintaining safety, in our experience there is far too much cleaning rather than cleaning of floors that takes place. For example, just because a chemical is labelled a degreaser does not mean that it removes sufficient grease Clean vs clean? 25

26 Best-practice cleaning can be characterised by: training, method, frequency and product Training Make sure staff are trained on the causes of slips and how to prevent slips Ensure floors are never left wet Method Frequency Do not mop floors in higher risk areas (mopping simply moves dirt around) Agitation will help to remove soiling from the floor High risk floors really need to be cleaned daily if at all possible Periodic deep cleans will help you to maintain compliance Product Everyday neutral detergents are not suitable for high-risk environments (they leave behind chemical residues which both cause slips and attract dirt) 26

27 In kitchens (and indeed other staff-only environments), footwear is proven to play a significant role in slips reduction. Do take care when choosing this though: as with chemicals there is safety footwear and safety footwear HSL has recently launched GRIP; an independent safety footwear testing service 27

28 Other factors to consider include entrance matting and spillage clean up plans even if a floor is compliant, we should try to keep it dry! 28

29 My main piece of advice would be to get expert help to test your floors (using the Pendulum) and come up with solutions for any incompliant areas The UK Slip Resistance Group is the UK authority on slips Its members include the HSE (which chairs the group) flooring manufacturers, testing houses Any UKSRG member will be able to advise on Pendulum Testing Some will be able to help with solutions, also 29

30 Slips: conclusions 30

31 Slips are a massive problem for all stakeholders: from building owners to local authorities to staff to outsourced workers like cleaners All stakeholders have a duty of care to provide safe floors for visitors / staff / members etc The Pendulum is the HSE-approved testing method you should insist on Pendulum tests for any absolute measure of slip-resistance testing Other testing methods may be suitable for ongoing monitoring of risk A PTV of 25 is required as a minimum anywhere The higher the foreseeability of an accident, the higher the PTV that is expected Assuming a floor is inherently safe, the cleaning regime is the key factor which will help you to prevent slips: use the correct training, method, frequency and product Consult the below websites for further queries:

32 Christian Harris Director +44 (0) (0)

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