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
- 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 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…..”
A risk assessment approach to Floor Wet Cleaning slips (trips and falls) can include the following steps
- Identify Risks
See Cleaning Floors Further Information