Equip for Safe Floor Wet Cleaning to Control Slips (Trips and Falls) Risks

  • Provide, maintain and replace, as necessary, proper equipment to enable cleaners to prevent access to wet, damp or drying floors (e.g. cordon systems). Segregation must not prevent emergency access/egress
    • A cleaner will not be able to segregate a wet, damp or drying floor without a proper cordon, barrier or similar system
  • Use the correct dilution of floor cleaning chemical. Too little may fail to remove any contamination that could make the floor slippery. Too much could leave a chemical residue that makes the floor slippery. Provide simple equipment and instructions to enable proper dilution
    • A cleaner will not be able to use the correct amount of a chemical unless there are containers to enable proper dilution or some other dosing system

Detergent dosing system

  • Ensure water at the correct temperature is provided. Cleaning often relies on the correct combination of physical energy (scrubbing), chemical energy (the correct detergent/ degreaser) and thermal energy (water at the correct temperature)
  • Provide equipment and chemicals recommended by the flooring manufacturer/ supplier
    • Avoid chemicals and equipment that could damage a floor or reduce slip resistance
  • One company report improvements following the introduction of a "no-rinse" cleaning agent with proper training
  • Actions to increase visibility of a fluid include a colour contrast between flooring and likely fluid contaminants, such as cleaning products
  • Exercise caution if supplying squeegees or floor scrubber-dryers with a squeegee which may not leave a floor fully dry
  • Provide cleaning staff with slip resistant footwear, if it is identified in the risk assessment

Grease or Oil on the Floor

  • Detergent should be used in water at the correct temperature. The detergent should be left for a sufficient contact time to act on the grease/ oil - similar to the soak time for soiled pots and pans
  • The Efficacy of Cleaning Regimes found that "in very greasy environments a fat solvent may prove more useful than detergent."

Floor Squeegees

Floor squeegees may not be appropriate in some situations. Safer surfaces to walk on (CIRIA C652) advises “that use of a squeegee had a negative effect ….

  • where the surface roughness is sufficient to allow the floor to be left wet ….
  • where oil or grease is present the squeegee spreads a thin layer ...over a wider area or forces it into the rough surface…..

risk assessment approach to Floor Wet Cleaning slips (trips and falls) can include the following steps

  1. Identify Risks
  2. Communicate
  3. Replace
  4. Reschedule
  5. Equip
  6. Segregate

See Cleaning Floors Further Information