These days, everyone is aware of the importance of workplace health and safety. In addition, most understand the importance of preventing slips, trips and falls. Unfortunately, evidence would seem to suggest that insufficient progress is being made.
Somewhere in the region of 20% of all workplace compensation claims relate to these kinds of accidents. But what makes things worse is the fact that almost every workplace slip, trip and fall could be prevented with proactive measures.
Contrary to popular belief, office cleaning isn’t only about keeping up appearances. Instead, office cleaning standards have a direct impact on health and safety standards. Of course, the connection between office cleaning and hygiene/illness issues is relatively obvious. Nevertheless, cleanliness standards also have a direct impact on general accident rates in the workplace.
What Causes Slips, Trips and Falls?
There are thousands of potential hazards around every workplace that can cause accidents. Some of which are more obvious than others. In most instances, slips and trips do not result in serious injury. But when they do, they have the potential to cause catastrophic damage.
Slip and trip hazards are different in nature, though pose the same level of risk to members of the workforce. Just a few typical causes of slipping include:
- Wet surfaces that become slippery
- Oil, grease or anything else on walkways or floors
- Highly polished surfaces with little traction
- Mats and rugs that are not appropriately fixed to the floor
- Debris/litter of any kind that may be stepped on
As for tripping, some of the more common workplace examples include:
- Extension cords and computer cables
- Drawers left open at low levels
- Uneven or damaged floors
- The sides of mats, rugs or carpets becoming raised
- Any kinds of obstacles or debris that could be tripped over
As already mentioned, office cleaning standards are directly linked with pretty much every standard slip and trip hazard. The reason being that even if it isn’t a direct cleanliness issue, effective office cleaning regimes can help ensure that all such threats are identified and dealt with. If your own office cleaning programme incorporates a daily hazard check, you are far less likely to experience accidents and injuries in the workplace.
Here’s a rundown of just a few simple tips and guidelines for helping reduce accidents:
- Always keep walkways and floors in general free of boxes, clutter and debris.
- Try to make sure that every working area and walkway alike is sufficiently illuminated at all times.
- Remain vigilant and constantly on the lookout for any cables or extension cords that could present tripping hazards.
- Make sure that any spills or moisture build-up of any kind is dealt with the very moment it is noticed.
- If it is necessary for a floor to be left wet for any period of time, restrict access to the area or display clear warning signs.
- Keep an eye on the quality and condition of the mats, rugs and carpets you use around the workplace, noting for any damage or wear.
- Ensure that quality mats are positioned at every entrance to your premises, in order to minimise moisture being brought in from outdoors.
- Use high quality cleaning products for hard floors that do not leave them dangerously slippery.
- Encourage every member of the workforce to participate in wider workplace health and safety supervision.
- Build workplace culture that does not permit reading, texting or other similarly distracting activities while walking.
- Ensure that members of the workforce who knowingly flout health and safety rules are sufficiently reminded and/or reprimanded.
- Assign at least one health and safety supervisor per department, in order to keep an eye on standards.
Ask the Experts
Of course, there’s also the option of hiring a professional office cleaning team to help out. Along with providing outstanding results, external service providers can also be great for highlighting potential hazards around the office you may have missed. A fresh pair of eyes is always good for these kinds of things.
We’d be delighted to help make your own working environment that little bit safer for your workforce. To learn more about our cleaning services or to discuss a quotation, get in touch with the Absolutely Gleaming customer service team today.