Watch Out for Wet Floor Signs
It is easy to forget, as we move from outside to inside that the slippery conditions can stay around. Of course, we have no way of knowing if an unexpected area in a store is wet due to a spill or because an employee just cleaned it. Wet floors are dangerous and frequent cause slip and falls. This is why smart store managers use non-slip mats and wet floor signs to protect customers and warn them of the risk of falling. Signs are a critical part of keeping customers safe. They are an inexpensive and easy method to warn people, watch out, this area is slippery. OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) actually spells out the necessity of signage to help prevent injuries.
Why Use Signs?
It is worth it for stores and other businesses to use signs. They can help prevent injuries which lead to costly lawsuits.
- A customer fell in a Pennsylvania Walmart. A worker was cleaning the bathroom, the floors were wet, no signs had been placed. The customer fell and injured himself. The result was a jury verdict of over 1 million dollars. A simple warning from the janitor or a sign informing the customer to be careful of the water, might have prevented the fall, which in turn would have prevented the injury. No injury, no lawsuit. Everyone would have no doubt been happier with that result.
- A guest fell on a wet floor at the Fairmount Park. He is suing for $50,000 as a result of his injuries.
Signs often prevent falls just by making patrons aware of the risk. This lets the customer avoid the area completely, or at least walk more carefully.
How Can Businesses Avoid Slips, Trips and Falls?
An article from the University of Wisconsin addresses accident prevention when it comes to slips, trips and falls. It recommends several steps, including use of wet floor signs.
- Use anti-skid adhesive tape in high traffic areas
- Use absorbent mats in entrance ways during inclement weather. (Caution: Unanchored mats may cause slip hazards themselves. Make sure that mats lie flat and that the backing material will not slide on the floor.)
- Display wet floor signs when appropriate, note that signs are a great awareness tool but should not be the only means of control. Clean up spills and wet floors as soon as practical.
- Have a procedure to deal with spills and ensure spills are reported and cleaned up immediately.
- Use proper mats in areas that tend to be “spill prone” (bathing facilities, food preparations)
- When wet processes are used, maintain proper drainage or use platform mats
Injured from a Fall? Contact Lowenthal & Abrams