Injury Protection with the Correct Flooring Choice

Injury protection is a major focus in many businesses no matter the industry they are in, and one factor that business owners and managers can really have a choice on is the type of flooring used in the business and how that flooring helps with injury prevention.

Workplace related injuries cost the Australian economy $60.6 billion each year. According to Safe Work Australia, technicians, trades workers, machinery operators, drivers and labourers make up 31% of the workforce but contribute close to 60% of all workplace injury cases and costs.

While there are numerous measures you can take in your workplace to prevent injuries, your choice of flooring is a major way to contribute to lessening the number of slips and falls in the workplace.

How Does Flooring Affect the Risk of Slips and Falls?

A lot of property developers and business owners don’t consider the type of business or tasks that may be carried out in a workplace. Often the correct flooring isn’t installed initially, which results in high levels of slips, trips and falls.

Some of the major issues to consider when thinking about the flooring in your business include:

  • Whether smooth surfaces, contaminants or cleaning will increase the risk of slips and falls;
  • The height of the flooring and whether differences in the height between two areas increases the risk of trips;
  • Whether using different flooring materials between two or more areas will increase the risk of slips, trips and falls;
  • If a floor is slip resistant when dry, is it still slip resistant when wet?

How Can I Check if My Current Floor is a Risk?

Before you consider upgrading or repairing your current floor, you may like to consider whether your current floor is a risk in its current condition. Factors to check for include:

  • Whether your flooring is uneven or in poor repair. This may include mats curling, torn carpet, broken or uneven concrete and chipped or cracked tiles.
  • If your anti-slip paint or tape is worn and damaged.
  • Do you have floor areas that are slippery under certain conditions – high traffic areas, slippery when wet but safe when dry- while the rest of your flooring is ok?
  • Is your flooring suitable for its present purpose? Perhaps you moved your business into an already built and fitted out building and never considered changing the flooring to be more suitable to your business activities.

Once you have done an assessment of your current floors, it’s time to look at whether these floors are suitable for the safety of your employees and visitors going forward, or whether you need to consider installing new flooring.

What to Consider When Installing New Flooring?

Installing new flooring is a big decision. While it may be expensive, lowering the risk of incidents and injuries in the workplace is beneficial to the day to day running of the business.  The best way to choose new flooring for your business premises is to consult with a flooring expert to see what is suitable. You should consider:

  • The expected use of the flooring and the type of people who will be using it;
  • Any materials and chemicals that may be used on or near the floor when dry or wet;
  • The type of flooring materials that are suitable for the tasks your business does and how much wear it is expected to see;
  • The cleaning requirements of the flooring;
  • The maintenance requirements of the flooring;
  • Whether you need to do any pre-flooring maintenance of fixing up unlevel floor areas.

Epoxy flooring surfaces are becoming quite popular in commercial and industrial businesses. The resin used in the flooring type can be mixed with aggregate products including rubber particles, silica sands and silicone carbide granules to help with the slip resistance of the flooring.

Epoxy Flooring Perth has over 20 years’ experience in the epoxy flooring industry and uses some of the most cutting-edge products in the industry. With their process of preparing and installing a new epoxy floor, you can expect a longer lasting and higher performing floor in your industrial or commercial location.

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