Identify Floor Wet Cleaning Slips (Trips and Falls) Risks

In 82% of cleaning slips, trips and falls, the injured person was not a cleaner. In 78% of cleaning slips, trips and falls, the cleaning activity was floor cleaning.

cleaning STF stats

Regulation 18 of the General Application Regulations says that the floor of every workroom should be cleaned by a suitable method as frequently as necessary to maintain an appropriate level of safety and health.

Under section 19 of the 2005 Act, employers are required to carry out risk assessments and to record these in the Safety Statement. It is important that strict controls are implemented during wet-cleaning of floors. The risks from a wet, damp or drying floor should not be underestimated.

  • Wet surfaces are one of the main causes of slips, trips and falls
  • "Mop-dry" floors can be particularly hazardous as they look dry but are still slippery
  • Some machines are designed as wet floor scrubbers that do not intend to leave the floor dry
  • Improper cleaning can make a floor more slippery
    • Over-use of polish
    • Too much cleaning chemical leaving a slippery residue
    • Inadequate cleaning failing to remove dirt
  • Floor cleaning may be regarded as a menial task and not well understood
  • Signs should only be used where hazards cannot be avoided or reduced. The presence of signs was mentioned in over half of the accident reviewed
  • Basic equipment with a major impact on safety may not be provided, e.g. equipment to allow segregation of a wet floor or proper dilution of chemicals
  • Consider STF Mapping and/or high-risk areas which might indicate a need for enhanced safeguards, e.g. stairs

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