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Sure Footing: How to Keep Flooring Safe

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You’re doing everything you can to keep your workplace safe and protect your employees and customers from accidents and injuries. You’ve installed railings, controlled access to toxic substances, implemented hard hat zones, and put traffic safety measures in place that control the movement of vehicles and equipment. But have you dedicated enough attention to your floors?

According to the Occupational Health and Safety Administration, slips and falls lead to 15 percent of all accidental deaths, and cause more fatalities than anything other than motor vehicle accidents. But some careful attention and a few proactive decisions can help keep your employees on their feet.

Recognize the source of the problem.

A wide and growing variety of flooring surfaces and flooring materials are available on the market today, and responsible managers will need to choose the flooring surface that meets the needs of a given workplace. Investigate the different kinds of adhesives and coatings that will best protect your flooring from the kind of abuse your operation tends to deal out, and consider the types of spills that tend to occur in your facility and the ways your employees use the floor most often (walking, carrying, vehicle and forklift operation, etc).

Notice hazards and fix them immediately and correctly.

Buckling, cracks, and gaps can be serious floor hazards, so when they occur, repair them quickly and correctly. This may involve chasing the crack with a saw and filling the gap with adhesive before grinding away the excess and recoating the area.

Reconsider surface coatings and polish.

Some employers choose to polish concrete floors with silicas and slick coating materials that look shiny and professional and seem easy to clean. But watch out; these slick coatings may turn into serious hazards when exposed to spills of water, oil, or food processing materials like vegetable and animal fats. Choose a broadcast media of angular quartz or aluminum oxide, which can provide a rougher surface and better slip resistance.

Mot all floor work has to involve a major time and cost investment, and not all flooring safety improvements will require a complete new floor installation. Determine the level of improvement that you can afford, and match your decision to the needs of your employees and your workplace. For guidance, turn to the manufacturing staffing experts at CSS.

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