Cleaning & Maintenance Management Online

Scientific solutions to slippery situations

September 19, 2010
The idea of applying science to enhance your cleaning and maintenance operations might have seemed unimaginable several years ago, but today the industry is abuzz with the notion that science is playing an integral role in product innovation and upholding cleaning standards.

You don’t need to read it in these magazine pages or on any industry website to know that the meanings of cleaning and facility management in the modern era have vastly changed in a relatively short period of time.

Even in areas once thought to be unmanageable and unavoidable for injuries, building owners and managers are now counting on BSCs and ISPs to apply science to enhance public health and worker safety.

In particular, in slip-and-fall situations.

Why slips?
The numbers supporting an effective and ongoing slip-and-fall program are staggering.

The average slip-and-fall accident costs a building owner approximately $3,500.

In 2002, falls caused or led to 15,400 deaths in America.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the annual accident rate for employees in the United States’ restaurant industry is approximately $3.5 billion in workers’ compensation claims.

Approximately 40 percent of food service accidents are slip-and-fall related.

Slip-and-fall science
CM/Cleaning & Maintenance Management readers have expressed that they need more information on preventing slips and falls, and this is often the most difficult component of starting a successful slip program.

Since there is no measurable ROI on a slip-and-fall program and most feel these accidents are unavoidable regardless of what measures are taken, many facility managers, building owners and BSCs often dismiss the importance of avoiding falls.

However, slip-and-fall accidents can be dramatically reduced and owners and managers can measure a return on their investments with the application of science as well as a comprehensive plan.

This month’s cover story (page 30) provides solutions to preventing accidents and keys to planning.

Our slip expert, Kenneth Fisher, who is an advisor to the National Floor Safety Institute, explains the elements of a comprehensive slip-and-fall program as well as how science is now playing a role in reducing injuries and lawsuits.

Fisher urges end users to become familiar with the wet coefficient of friction (COF) of a floor’s surface.

This scientific measurement, he says, is vital to upholding safety and health.

In addition to effective matting, which is covered on page 36, facility managers and BSCs should continuously remain cognizant of how they clean and what measures can be taken to avoid slip-and-fall accidents.

Our very own certified tech
The entire staff of CM/Cleaning & Maintenance Management would like to extend well-deserved congratulations to our very own Associate Managing Editor Ashley Sterne.

Ashley attended an IICRC-Advanced Carpet Cleaning Technician seminar in June.

In addition to “rubbing elbows” with our readers and getting a feel of the challenges they face on a regular basis, Ashley also participated in a 160- question certification exam.

We are proud to report that Ashley passed the exam with a 92 percent score.

Congratulations Ashley, our very own IICRC-Certified Carpet Cleaning Technician.