COVID Hazards – What impact do the COVID-19 reopening measures have on your risk of slip?
As the UK starts to reopen, many new measures are in place to help minimise the risk of spreading COVID-19 but what impact are these measures having on the slip risk in your premises? Our team share their observations from our first weeks back testing.
1. Hand Sanitiser
Hand sanitising stations are popping up in all shapes and sizes, some are a bank of stations, some are individual pumps or sprays at various locations, some are hand controlled, others are foot controlled. We also see people using and carrying their own individual bottles of hand sanitiser.
Since resuming testing at the beginning of June, our test results so far are indicating the sanitiser is getting on the floors and causing them to be more slippery, especially when the floor gets wet.
So, what can we do to combat this?
Well firstly be aware that this contaminant is increasing slip and therefore you will need to be prepared to monitor and tackle it.
Secondly, as part of your routine cleaning (most places are cleaning more frequently and thoroughly at the moment) ensure you are cleaning the floor areas thoroughly near the sanitising stations. You do not need to use any detergent here, just ensure you are cleaning regularly so a build-up of sanitiser doesn’t occur on your surfaces.
Thirdly, ensure the area is tested during your regular slip test to ensure the measures you have put in place are effective.
2. Floor warning stickers and distance and directional markings
As most of us will have seen, a lot of public spaces and work environments will now have 2m markings/tape on the floor to show people where to safely stand at distance from each other, likewise directional marking to ensure the flow of traffic and warning sticker as reminders.
But whilst these new warning and visual reminding are needed in a bid to minimise the spread of the Coronavirus, they are another potential slip/trip hazard for you to consider in your risk assessments.
Here are some questions to consider…..
Have your stickers/markings been specified on a material with a high slip resistance? If not, this is a consideration before placing a new order.
Have you had the slip resistance of these additions to the floor tested? You really should have these tested as people will be walking over this surface, even if a material with a high slip resistance has been specified, do you know how the slip resistance is impacted by the contaminants in your environment, including the introduction of hand sanitiser as standard across nearly all types of premises? You need to understand this to demonstrate your duty of care.
Also, please be on the lookout for edges lifting, we have already seen some stickers getting warn and lifting and this can cause a trip hazard. Check the quality of the stickers at least once a day.
3. Barriers and cordoned off areas
A third potential trip hazard to be aware of is the barriers and cordoned off areas – again these are absolutely needed but please just be mindful of the potential trip hazard they may cause, feet sticking out of barriers, tape and rope that may not be easy for everyone to see etc can also cause an additional hazard during these times.
Are these sign posted? Are they in a bright colour that is easy to see? Make sure you look around regularly and consider if these could cause a trip hazard and remember to consider people of all ages and abilities when doing so.
SlipTest - Helping you stay Slip Safe as you tackle COVID-19 and reopening.