Although many people who suffer slip and fall injuries may have a genuine claim, there is an increasing number of cases where local government departments, councils and other public bodies have become the victims of false claims and expensive “slipigation”.
Successful slip and fall claims can result in payouts of hundreds of thousands of dollars. But fraudulent or scam claims can also be very costly and time-consuming.
The first step to preventing slips and falls – and avoiding the legal consequences – is to make sure that all potentially dangerous areas are treated with an appropriate anti-slip coating.
Understand the environment
Make regular, documented assessments of slip and trip risks both inside and outside the building. High hazard areas are those which are frequently wet – like kitchens and washrooms, or smooth concrete outside areas which are exposed to the elements. Access ramps are also prime candidates for slips as are concrete walkways and polished timber or tiled floors.
Listen to the location
As part of your assessment, you should ‘listen to the location’. Is it often used by elderly or disabled people who are more prone to slips or falls? Or is it a work area where people are carrying big or heavy loads which make a fall even more dangerous. Is it a busy work or high-traffic area that’s prone to dirt, grime or grease build-up on the floor?
Recognise your duty of care
Your duty of care to both your employees and the public means you must manage health and safety risks associated with slips, trips and falls by eliminating – or minimising the risk so far as is reasonably practicable.
It’s your responsibility to ensure your floors and walkways comply with Australian Standards’ anti-slip codes. You’d be surprised how many floors don’t. If you don’t comply, you’re leaving yourself wide open to litigation.
If in doubt, get it tested
Rather than leave things to guesswork, you can have your floors professionally tested for their slip resistance or R rating. The test uses a pendulum-style meter which gauges the amount of resistance the floor would create under skid circumstances
Consider your options
There are many ways to make a floor less slippery. One common method is using granules or beads in a polyurethane coating which, when cured, creates a nonslip, sandpaper-like texture on the floor. Other options include hard-wearing epoxy coatings incorporating a fine grit which are particularly suitable for factory or workshop floors. A professional can advise you which coating is most suitable for your needs.
The economics of prevention vs litigation
Trips, slips and falls are on the rise. Every year, there are thousands of incidents in Australia, 23% of which lead to serious claims. 56% of all slips, trips and falls are caused by environmental factors, such as slippery floors and the average cost of each case amounted to $104,370. As you can see, the cost of prevention far outweighs just one claim against your organisation – be it real, or a scam
Get a grip. Get a quote.
Given the serious consequences of a slip in your premises, it’s essential that your anti-slip solution is applied by a professional who can assess your requirements, recommend the most appropriate coating – and then apply it so it will meet the necessary codes and last for years.
At Kleenit, we’ve been providing Australia with anti-slip solutions for 30 years and have the expertise, equipment and materials to produce the right result every time. Our anti-slip coating services are available in Sydney NSW, Melbourne VIC, Perth WA and Canberra ACT.