In today''s economic conditions, it is most important that JanSan professionals understand how to keep slip and fall issues at bay for both their workers and their clients.
There are many factors contributing to the increased number of slip and fall claims that are being recorded across the U.S.
Due to the aging population, the litigiousness of our society and the high unemployment rate, slip and fall incidents have appeared on the radar screens of JanSan professionals and their clients — and they must become a priority in everyday operations.
When we peel back the onion and look at the contributing causes of slip and fall incidents, it can become most revealing.
This way, we can better understand what steps can be taken to lessen the likelihood of a slip and fall incident occurring.
There are five areas that can contribute to a possible slip and fall, and a “no” answer to these questions should raise concern:
Are the tools being used to maintain the facility the right tools and are they clean and free of contaminants?
Are the proper cleaning chemicals being used that will help increase the traction on the floor?
Are the instructions for the chemicals being followed correctly?
Is the floor being cleaned the correct number of times each day based on volume of usage?
Are you educating your clients on ways to promote floor safety?
The Right Equipment
Using the right equipment and supplies is an essential part of any floor care program designed to reduce liabilities from slip and fall incidents.
When a carpenter begins to build a structure, he or she certainly would not begin the project with a set of golf clubs.
They would know that having the right equipment will get the job done effectively and make the job go smoother, producing a finished job to be proud of.
This is especially true for the JanSan professional.
Starting the job with clean mop buckets, clean and rinsed out mop heads and clean deck brushes and squeegees will make the job go smoother.
Mop buckets that take into consideration ergonomics will aid in better water extraction from mops and will be much easier to operate.
Using the right mop head for the job at hand will cover the needed square footage with the least amount of effort.
Deck brushes work great on grouted floors; however, if an aggressive scrub may be needed on a tile floor, a doodlebug, often referred to as a “pot scrubber on a stick,” can be used.
Squeegees are great, but must be replaced when they become ragged and leave voids due to tears and cuts on the leading edges.
The Right Chemicals
When cleaning hard surface floors in foodservice facilities, many believe that using a detergent that produces high suds is a good strategy.
In fact, more suds does not mean better cleaning.
Choosing a product that is designed to break down fatty oils and grease can accomplish that task — even with low suds.
In addition, it would be an excellent idea to visit the National Floor Safety Institute''s (NFSI) website and look for a product that not only breaks down the fatty oils and grease but also gives the floor more traction.
Using the right chemicals is just as important as choosing the right tools for the job.
Follow Usage Instructions
This is one of the most important steps in any cleaning task.
Following the instructions from the manufacturer includes using the proper water temperature for diluting chemicals, following recommended application techniques, heeding to suggested dwell time, adequately agitating the chemical and proper rinsing.
Leave just one of these important steps out and you may actually be contributing to a slip and fall incident.
A topnotch JanSan professional will suggest certain steps be adhered to for routine daily maintenance.
Provide a written protocol to the facility manager that outlines a simple schedule for daily maintenance during business hours.
Suggest wet floor warning signs, clean mop heads and mop buckets and that special attention be given to public areas, such as beverage service areas and public restrooms, which may be more prone to spills.
Remember, when a JanSan professional is seen as a resource, the client will appreciate suggestions and will better understand the partnering relationship that exists.
Safety Is Paramount
In a business relationship, the more a JanSan professional contributes to educating the client, the more they elevate their value.
Showing a client ways that can help them reduce costly slip and fall incidents will prove to be invaluable in the future.
JanSan professionals have a vast array of information at their fingertips that can prove to be an asset for a client when it comes to slip and fall prevention.
Share information with your clients so they can better understand what you are doing to help prevent slip and fall injuries.
Make suggestions and share insights by providing them with educational articles and websites to visit.
Remember, you are a professional and, as a professional, you can really make a difference if you follow these five easy steps for reducing slip and fall injuries.
Ken Fisher is chief operating officer (COO) of Nu-Safe Floor Solutions Inc. Headquartered in Walton, Kentucky, Nu-Safe creates partnerships by offering the only comprehensive approach to reducing slips and falls. As a certified walkway specialist, Fisher offers a wide range of services and floor safety products. Fisher serves on the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) B101.1 committee, is chairman of the ANSI B101.2 sub-committee and is a member of the ANSI B101.3 sub-committee. For more information, visit www.nu-safe.com.