Replace Wet Cleaning to Control Slip 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…"

Replace/ repair the Slippery Floor

  • Where possible a permanent solution could be to replace/ repair the slippery floor to provide a floor that is not slippery when wet

Wet cleaning a non slip floor

Replace Wet Cleaning

Where the floor is slippery when wet, the following precautions should be considered

  • 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
  • If the slip resistance of the floor is being reduced by ineffective cleaning, consider replacing the cleaning method and the chemical, equipment and approach in line with the floor manufacturers advice

Dry cleaning floor

Replace/ Remove Floor Polish

  • Do not use polish unless specifically advised by the floor manufacturer
  • 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

Assessment of Slip Risks from Floor Cleaning

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