Slip resistant flooring – why do we need it and how best to clean it?

What is slip resistant flooring?

Slip resistant, or safety, flooring is a type of flooring that remains slip free, when both wet and dry. It allows for a safer workplace by preventing slips, trips and falls, and is often used in healthcare facilities such as hospitals, GP practices and veterinary surgeries.

What is ‘floor slip’ resistance testing?

Floor slip resistance testing is the science of measuring the coefficient of friction of flooring surfaces, either in a laboratory before installation or on floors after installation. Slip resistance testing (or floor friction testing) is usually desired by a building’s owner or manager when there has been a report of a slip and fall accident, or before the flooring is installed in the property in order to prevent slips from occurring once installed. Floor slip resistance testing can be carried out dry, wet with water, or lubricated with oils and other contaminants, in order to replicate the conditions the floor will be under when in use. If the floor is likely to be lubricated with water or grease whilst being used, it must be slip resistant.

Why do we need safety flooring?

More than 30% of major injuries in the health sector are caused by slips and trips, 95% of these resulting in broken bones. This makes them the most common cause of injury in the workplace, with a slip or trip accident being recorded every 3 minutes. The Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992 states that floor surfaces should not be uneven or slippery, and should be kept free from any article or substance which may cause a person to slip, trip or fall. This is echoed by the Department of Health, who state that floors used in healthcare facilities must prevent pedestrians from slipping both in areas deemed as dry and those that become wet or contaminated in usage. The easiest way to adhere to these rules is to provide flooring that prevents slipping when both wet and dry i.e. slip resistant (safety) flooring.

How should we clean safety flooring?

Safety floors have surfaces that are a little rougher than standard surfaces. This has two effects on the cleaning; firstly it can take a little extra time or effort to get the dirt off the floor and into the cleaning solution, and secondly, they tend to hold a little bit more cleaning solution when you take off the excess with a wrung mop. This can mean that when the water from the cleaning solution evaporates, it leaves a little bit of dirt behind, which you might notice if there are low spots on the floor where the residue tends to accumulate. One way to avoid this is to remove as much of the cleaning solution as possible, perhaps by using a dry mop or a wet vacuum to leave the floor really dry.

Another way, and arguably the most effective method of cleaning non slip floors, is to use a twin brush multi-purpose floor cleaning machine, such as the Multiwash. These machines wash, mop, scrub and dry floor surfaces in just one single pass. Although being an all-round machine capable of cleaning most types of flooring including tiles, polished vinyl floors, wooden floors and even entrance matting and commercial carpet, it works particularly well on ‘difficult’ surfaces such as slip resistant flooring.

For more information on the Multiwash range of machines check out www.multiwash.co.uk or contact Industrial Floorcare Machines.MW340

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