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Flooring and Surface Safety: Choosing Materials to Prevent Slips and Falls

On Behalf of Rush Injury Law

Slips and falls are a normal part of life, but that doesn’t make them any more pleasant. The consequences of a slip or fall can be life-changing, including broken limbs, head trauma, and even paralysis. All businesses have a legal obligation to keep staff and visitors safe, which includes reducing slip and fall hazards. The first step is often the choice of surface, which can play a significant role in slips and falls.
Tiles and Mats
In many businesses, floors are topped with tiles and mats made of PVC, polyurethane, or rubber that are locked together when being laid. The surface of these materials is designed to increase traction by using pitted, gritted, or corrugated surfaces. These flooring materials are essential across many different industries, especially within the food processing sector where oils and grease are often spilled.
When workers are raised off the floor by corrugated surfaces, they’re protected from standing directly on slippery substances and potentially suffering life-changing injuries. As well as being raised, there’s often a slight incline, which allows liquids to spread out.
Some surfaces need a much larger non-slip treatment, which is where anti-slip paints and coatings come to the rescue. In most cases, they are used to cover warehouse surfaces or places where forklifts are used, and work boots are worn. The majority of non-slip coatings are visibly textured, which can help workers see where to tread. As well as this, coatings are popular because they can be used on interior and exterior flooring, and it’s a much cheaper alternative to having the entire floor replaced.
Step and Floor Coverings
In some cases, floors are made of metal and need to be covered to create a non-slip surface, such as on an oil rig or in a food processing plant, where the floor is at constant risk of being wet. Floor coverings are helpful for several reasons, with coarse and grit-like surfaces the most obvious. As well as this, floor colors can be laid in contrasting colors, which can increase workers’ visibility of where the edge of the walkway is.
Floor treatments are put down in areas where regular shoes are worn – typically on harder flooring that becomes slippery when wet. In most cases, terrazzo, vinyl, ceramic, porcelain tile, granite, and concrete are used. Naturally, the treatments are designed to increase traction and reduce the likelihood of slips and falls.
Other Actions to Take
Floor surfaces are only the beginning when it comes to preventing slips and trips; businesses also need to put certain safety measures in place including:
● Keeping premises clean at all times.
● Having appropriate slip hazard signage.
● Maintaining the quality of all floors.
● Ensuring proper footwear is worn by all employees.
Being injured because of a slip or fall can be devastating, but businesses have a responsibility to reduce the chances of this type of accident happening on their premises. These efforts start with laying non-slip flooring like those outlined above.
If you’ve had a slip or fall at work or while on business premises, visit our attorneys at Rush Injury Law today to discuss compensation. Our addresses are as follows:
● 10 Commercial Blvd, #206 Novato, CA 94949
● 75 Broadway #202, San Francisco, CA 94111
● 3558 Round Barn Blvd, Suite 200, Santa Rosa, CA 95403
Or call us today for a free consultation on (415) 897-4801

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