Viewing posts from : April 2017



The most common injuries at work come from slips, trips and falls according to the Health and Safety Executive. These injuries “cost employers over £512m per year”. It is clearly an owners or employer’s responsibility to reduce the risk to visitors and staff so what do you need to know?

Design

Correct design of surfaces and the working environment can be a big factor in mitigating and managing risks for the long term. Make sure that when new build or refurbishment is planned that creating low risk environments is one of the top priorities of the designers a long with functional and aesthetic design requirements.

Falls Risk Assessment

You may not have the luxury of managing an environment that is designed with risk reduction in mind, so identifying the risks in your work space is the next key step. The outcome will be to demonstrate that you are doing enough to prevent harm.

Consider what risks in your environment may lead to slip or trip injuries, and decide what suitable and effective control measures will prevent these types of accidents. Concentrate on the real risks – those that are most likely to cause harm. Think about how accidents might happen and who might be harmed.

This can be done by:

  1. Asking your employees what they think the hazards are, often they notice things that are not obvious to more casual observers and they may have some ideas on how to control the risks;
  2. Using the hazard-spotting checklist and slips and trips mapping tool (see below) to help you identify problem areas
  3. Put control measures into practice

The main causes of slips, trips and falls in the workplace are:

  • uneven floor surfaces
  • unsuitable floor coverings
  • wet floors (leaks, cleaning or spillages)
  • changes in levels
  • trailing cables
  • poor lighting
  • poor housekeeping

Follow this easy 5-step Falls Risk Assessment process (recommended by the Health and Safety Executive) to take control of slips trips and falls

  1. Look for slip and trip hazards around the workplace, including floor coverings and their condition, uneven floors, trailing cables and areas that are sometimes slippery due to spillages. Don’t forget to include any outdoor areas, remembering that weather conditions may be a factor.
  2. Decide who might be harmed and how. Who comes into the workplace? Are they at risk? Are some groups more at risk than others?
  3. Consider the risks. Are there already measures in place to deal with the risks? Are floor coverings suitable for the area and the work carried out there? What cleaning and maintenance systems are in place? Are regular inspections carried out? Are employees instructed to keep traffic routes clear?
  4. Record your findings if you have five or more employees.
  5. Regularly review the assessment. If any significant changes take place, make sure that precautions are still adequate to deal with the risks.

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Public perception of an organisation can be set in stone once a visitor has used the washroom so keeping them in top condition is vital. Washrooms deliver another important function in delivering improvements in public or workplace hygiene. Choosing the right washroom solutions can lead to a marked improvement in facilities management performance and the user feedback rankings of any organisation.

Hygiene

Maintaining hygiene standards according to the right legislation for your type of organisation is essential and high hygiene standards make washrooms more appealing to staff and visitors. Diligent cleaning regimes using the right commercial washroom supplies is essential. Trusted suppliers will often be able to assist you in regular reviews of cleaning protocols and the most innovative washroom solutions.

In addition to the daily cleaning regime, planned routine deep cleans are important to keep standards up. It is worth rotating staff across different locations to carry this out as familiarity can often mean more challenging areas can get over looked.

Flooring

Flooring type can have a significant effect on standards of cleanliness and hygiene. Floor tiles allow bacteria to thrive in grout lines and unseen crack and crevices. Smooth floor surfaces are easy to clean, but can create slip hazards; therefore, the safest and most hygienic washroom solution is anti-slip safety flooring.

Whatever your flooring, using the right commercial washroom supplies is paramount. Different surface types and materials may require specific washroom products to do the job effectively. Our helpful E-guide “5 Easy Steps to Improve Floor Cleaning” can help you with this.

Hand Drying

A frequently debated topic about washrooms is hand drying system choice, particularly hot air dryers Vs paper towels. In 2013, the NHS reviewed over 10 studies in this area and found that paper towels win out all round. One study found that 10 seconds of using a hot air dryer was associated with more bacteria on the hands than not using a dryer at all. This is because harmful bacteria are often recirculated by hot air dryers. Children are most at risk as their faces are at a similar level to most driers.

Innovative paper hand drying systems can reduce costs as well as improve standards.

Odour

Many studies have shown reactions to odours and our olfactory likes and dislikes are based purely on emotional associations, with even the power to alter people’s moods. This means if your washrooms have bad odours, people can write them off even before seeing them.

Odours are easy to fix but do require specialist knowledge about their root cause and the correct washroom supplies to fix the problem. Fixing the problem is about choosing the right washroom supplies that will eliminate the odour at the source rather than simply masking the small. Again, this is a good area to seek out a trusted experienced supplier who can help pinpoint the problem.

 

Walls and surfaces

Tiled walls are notoriously difficult to clean properly. Like tiled floors, the main problem lies in the fact bacteria gathers on grout lines and can be extremely difficult to sanitise successfully. When designing or re-furbishing washrooms, carefully consider wall cladding. Solid Grade Laminate (SGL) is a good choice which is completely impervious to water and comes in a huge range of colours and finishes, meaning you can have a washroom that’s highly functional, but still looks slick.

 

Organisations often under-estimate the impact that the condition and cleanliness of washrooms can have on an organisation overall. It is worth spending time reviewing your washroom systems as high standards here will lift performance throughout your facilities.
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