In a recently opened supermarket, staff and members of the public experienced a number of slip, trip and falling accidents. The areas of the supermarket that were most affected by a high slip risk when wet were the terrazzo floor tiles in the entrance area and the first few aisles of the supermarket adjacent to this entrance.
It was identified that the supermarket experienced a high level of water ingress from rain in the foyer. The entrance matting systems in place were not large enough to cope with the amount of water transferred onto the mats from pedestrian movement. The solutions were both long and short term. In the short term the company increased the frequency of cleaning in the foyer at times of wet weather. This frequency depended upon the number of people entering the building and the amount of rain. A system was put in place so that the staff were constantly vigilant for signs of water on the supermarket floor. When water was identified inside the store cleaning would follow. The method of cleaning used in these areas was also altered. Rather than mopping (which left the floor surface wet), staff used a wet vac, which left the floor dry.
The supermarket also reviewed the matting system. The existing sunken matting was complimented by extra matting during wet conditions. In the longer term the supermarket built a canopy over the entrance to further reduce the direct ingress of water.
The cost for training staff regarding the frequency of cleaning was approximately half day per member of staff and the wet vac cost less than £500. The supplementary entrance mats cost about £20 each. The cost of the additional canopy was absorbed during store refurbishment, as it was planned to build a canopy before the store opened.
After 18 months of these changes being in place there had not been a serious slipping accident.