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The importance of safety flooring

Posted by Marianne
January 11, 2014 in Features

By its very name alone,  safety flooring  safety flooring is important; providing a safe, secure and reliable surface in order that personnel can carry out their duties safely and effectively. This alone makes it clear to see why it is such a vital component of any work area, warehouse and similar space.

The importance of such floors is recognised under the Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992. This states that all British employers have an obligation to provide floors suitable for work to be completed safely.

Safety flooring to minimise slips and trips

There is also a great deal of circumstantial and documented evidence to support the installation of safety flooring. Before such regulations were introduced, there were some truly awful incidents. Things have naturally improved but still, accidents occur.

Looking at provisional figures from 2010/11, it is recorded that in excess of 40 percent of major injuries sustained in the British workplace were as a direct or indirect result of slips and trips. Further analysis of such results is needed to understand the exact cause of course but, it can reasonably be assumed that the floor surface was a factor in a significant number of these accidents.

By simply having an adequate and well maintained surface underfoot, this figure could be significantly reduced. Naturally, there is a cost involved, but this will be considerably less than the cost of an employee being injured.

Safety flooring maximises cost effectiveness

Taking the 2010/11 figures again, the estimated cost to UK plc was upwards of £500 million. This is also the average cost that workplace injuries cost every year; a huge amount. These costs are variable too.

The first cost that is clear is the cost to care and treat the individual or individuals sustaining an injury. Then there is the lack of productivity to factor in; not just from those employees not able to work, but a natural and understandable slackening off from other members of staff.

Add to this the cost of appraising the risks following the incident, the cost of corrective action, additional training and replacement staff, and it is easy to see how small firms can easily struggle. Then of course, there is the cost of installing a safety floor; considerably cheaper when installed ahead of any accident.

Getting the right safety flooring

As with anything, ensuring an accident does not happen is best. Next in line is to minimise the risk of an accident, and on both points is where safety flooring comes in of course. There are different floors for different needs of course.

For example, high traffic and circulation areas, such as entrances, corridors and reception areas may require anti slip flooring. Similarly, changing rooms, toilets and food preparation areas may require the same. In a warehouse setting too, safety flooring will be needed, whether in distribution areas, cold storage or on raised platforms and walkways.

Fortunately, there is a lot of help available to UK businesses to understand which flooring is best. There are a number of tools to help for example, whilst reputable firms will always be able to provide advice, guidance as well as competitive quotes.

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