Replace Floor Wet Cleaning to Control Slips (Trips and Falls) Risks

The report on The Efficacy of Cleaning Regimes found that “smooth floors left damp by a mop may be extremely slippery …. cleaning floors in a more effective manner can significantly improve the slip resistance … Equally, the study shows the pitfalls of using inappropriate cleaning, where visible contamination is removed, removing the visual prompt for a user to proceed with caution, but leaving the floor as slippery as when heavily contaminated…"

  • Avoid floor wet-cleaning if possible. Consider any advice/ instructions from the flooring manufacturer and the hygiene requirements of the workplace in your risk assessment
  • Where possible, replace floor wet-cleaning with dry cleaning. Use a vacuum or dry microfibre brush
  • Scrubber-dryers may be a very effective way of replacing traditional wet cleaning (for example, with a mop), if they leave the floor fully dry.
    • Machines may not leave a floor fully dry if the squeegee is worn/ damaged
    • It's important to recognise that some machines are designed as wet scrubbers that do not intend to leave the floor dry
  • Where necessary, consult the Safety File for information on safe cleaning methods
  • Only use polish in accordance with the floor manufacturer’s advice

Dry cleaning floor

  • It’s reported that at the end of construction and before handover to the client, floors can receive a special “handover cleaning” to give the surface a high-gloss appearance. This could severely reduce any slip resistance of the floor. Only products and methods approved by the flooring manufacturer should be used

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