People rarely slip on a clean, dry floor. Contamination is involved in almost all slip accidents, that is anything that ends up on a floor, eg rain water, oil, dust etc. If a floor has a smooth surface (eg standard vinyl, ceramic tiles or varnished wood), even a tiny amount of contamination can be a real slip problem.

Contamination can be introduced by the work activity or by cleaning.

What should you do?

Identify where the contamination is coming from:

  • spills
  • leaks
  • overflow
  • cleaning activity
  • run-off
  • from footwear

Consider how to stop the contamination reaching the floor, ie:

  • guards
  • drip trays
  • lids
  • review working practices
  • entrance matting

If contamination is inevitable, identify other controls to avoid slips, ie:

  • flooring type
  • Cleaning
  • footwear

Identify the correct cleaning procedure for floors:

Encourage a 'See it, sort it!' mentality to deal with hazards quickly, eg dealing with a spillage, instead of waiting for someone else to deal with it. See Slips and trips - Hazard spotting checklist and Stop spills in kitchens: A good practice guide.

Case studies

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