Even though healthcare facilities are meant to provide care to the ailing, they are also a common place for slip and fall injuries to take place. Falls are one of the leading causes of injury, resulting in 8.9 million trips to emergency rooms across the country every year, according to the National Safety Council. As the manager of a public healthcare facility, it is a good idea to take the initiative to do what you can to ensure that the flooring in your building is as safe as possible to prevent slip and fall injuries. Here is a simple ABC rule set to help you prevent slip and fall injuries in your healthcare facility.
Always Use Appropriate Cleaning and Maintenance Practices - Many healthcare facility managers have no idea how much proper cleaning and maintenance practice encourages safe flooring surfaces. Healthcare facilities are commonly floored with ceramic tile and vinyl, which is already slippery and can be more prone to causing a fall. Using appropriate cleaning processes will help to avoid making these surfaces more slippery. A few mistakes to avoid include:
- making sure cleaning products are properly diluted.
- using floor scrubbers that adequately remove leftover residue that can become slippery.
- making use of slip meters to test surfaces for traction after cleaning.
- switching to National Flooring Safety Institute (NFSI) certified products for floor cleaning.
Be Attentive to High-Traffic Areas - In places where there is heavy foot traffic, there are bound to be more concerns about slips and falls. Consider areas that patients, visitors, and employees travel the most, such as around entry and exit pints, near restroom facilities, and the entrance way to the cafeteria or break room. These are the areas where trip hazards will be likely to show up, whether it is mud tracked in from shoes or trash accidentally dropped.
Create a Comprehensive Training Plan - Your healthcare facility employees are your number one line of defense against slip and fall injuries. Create a detailed training plan that is used for every role in the facility. Train employees to be alert to spills and trip hazards and to understand the importance of removing spills and trip hazards as quickly as possible in all situations.
You may not be able to control the sheer volume of foot traffic in a healthcare setting, but you can do what you have to in order to ensure that you are keeping the floors safe. If you would like more information about preventing slip and fall injuries, talk to a personal injury attorney (like those at Fitzsimmons & Vervaecke Law Firm) for advice.