Industry News | January 16, 2012

Cintas Gives Tips to Prevent Slips and Falls

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To help restaurants prevent injuries and reduce liability, Cintas Corporation today issued a list of best practices for reducing slip and fall accidents.

Presented in their recent slip and fall prevention webinar, these practices are also recommended to assist foodservice operators as they prepare for upcoming standards expected to be released by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) in 2012.  

“CNA research shows that the single most important factor in determining the slip resistance of a floor is how it’s cleaned and maintained – not the floor’s type, finish or cleaner,” says Dave Ludwin, webinar presenter and General and Products Liability Risk Control Director at CNA.

Consequently, foodservice operators need to make sure they have the right program in place to protect their employees and reduce their exposure to potential liability claims.”

According to data compiled by CNA, slip and fall accidents account for more than 21 percent of Worker’s Compensation Claims and 59 percent of general liability claim costs.

ANSI is currently vetting several standards to help measure the effectiveness of floor care maintenance programs with the goal of improving floor traction and reducing these injuries.

The upcoming standards will outline floor safety procedures ranging from walkway auditing to floor safety management programs. Foodservice operators can anticipate these new standards to take effect within the next few months.

To prepare for the standards and to assist in the development of a safe floor program, foodservice operators should consider the following tips:

• Select the best floor material for the area. Consider high traction floor surfaces for areas where water or grease might gather, such as around dishwashers or grill areas.

• Identify the right cleaner for the job. Cleaners effective in cleaning up grease might not be as effective in cleaning up soils with fatty acids, which could result in a slippery surface. Use the proper cleaner for type of soil targeted.

• Implement proper cleaning tools and supplies. Tools such as microfiber mops utilize less water, reducing the amount of water required to clean up spills – and further eliminating opportunities for slip and fall hazards.

• Follow manufacturer guidelines. Review the recommended dilution ratios and proper procedures for using cleaning chemicals and equipment. An automated chemical dispensing system will automatically create the proper dilution for optimal cleaning, reduced expense, and improved employee safety.

• Develop a written protocol for floor maintenance. For consistency in the floor cleaning program, outline the program in writing so everyone knows exactly how the floor should be cleaned throughout different parts of the restaurant.

• Establish a floor cleaning schedule. Identify frequencies for all levels of floor cleaning – from daily maintenance procedures to deep cleaning.

• Train staff on floor cleaning protocol. Demonstrate procedures for placing and cleaning matting, cleaning floors and maintaining the cleaning equipment. If an automated chemical dispensing system is not available, be sure to include training on the proper dilution and handling of chemicals.

• Follow up to ensure protocol is followed, and hold staff accountable. Conduct scheduled and surprise audits to inspect floor cleanliness and identify if staff are following the proper procedures.

“No foodservice operator wants a slip and fall accident to occur in their restaurant,” says David Collette, Director of Foodservice Marketing, Cintas Corporation.

Not only can this result in a worker or patron injury, it can create a public relations nightmare, potentially costing a business thousands in settlement costs and legal fees. With the anticipated ANSI standards on the horizon, foodservice operators can proactively prepare their organization by implementing a program to protect their floors now.”

For more information on developing a safe floor program, download Cintas’ recent webinar hosted by leading slip-and-fall expert Russ Kendzior, an internationally recognized expert on slip and fall accident prevention and founder of the National Floor Safety Institute; Dennis Fetzer, a casualty claims consultant and leading expert witness in slip and fall accidents and Dave Ludwin.

For additional information on Cintas’ solutions for foodservice, go to http://www.cintas.com/Industries/FoodService/. To view the recent webinar, go to www.cintas.com/safefloorwebinar.

Headquartered in Cincinnati, Cintas Corporation provides highly specialized services to businesses of all types primarily throughout North America.

Cintas designs, manufactures and implements corporate identity uniform programs, and provides entrance mats, restroom supplies, promotional products, first aid, safety, fire protection products and services and document management services for approximately 900,000 businesses.