Imagine the impact signs have on us today. We use signs to direct us while driving; find groceries at the store; warn us of potential hazards. With so many signs around, is it no surprise that some signs are just blatantly ignored?
When it comes to reducing the risk of slip and fall injuries, the most used and abused sign is the wet floor sign. Custodians and other facility management personnel who use these signs abuse them by leaving them out when they are no longer needed, which lessens their impact in the facility. By leaving a wet floor sign out for extended periods of time after the floor has dried, how can guests and tenants take them seriously? Even more ironic is that an abandoned wet floor sign itself can become a trip hazard.
In most cases, the problem with ineffective wet floor signage isn’t the fault of the sign itself. The problem lies with improper use and training of cleaning professionals on how to use the sign in an effective way. Signage should certainly be used to protect everyone from harmful slip, trip and fall accidents. Your wet floor sign should:
- Cover the actual wet area; isn’t placed before approaching or after entering wet area
- Stand 28-39 inches tall for increased visibility
- Be yellow in color with black lettering
- Be visible from 360-degrees
- Have a stable base to avoid falling or being easily knocked over
- Clearly say “Caution: Wet Floor”
To decrease some risk of accidents, signs should be placed early to give advance notice of the hazard when possible. If a large portion of a floor is expected to remain wet for a long period of time, it may be a good idea to place a barricade around the area.
Assuming proper signage fails or is misused, property owners and managers could be leaving themselves open to costly slip, trip and fall litigation. It doesn’t take much grace to walk without falling, but sometimes we fall and are lucky to get up with just a bruised ego.
Others are not so lucky.
For those who are injured, they join the rising multi-billion dollar industry of slip and fall accident litigation. According to OSHA, the average cost of a slip and fall accident is $22,800 per accident but there is no limit to how much companies may pay.
Rather than follow stricter safety procedures, some companies quickly settle claims for slip and fall accidents because the cost to do so is built into their budgets. This is a major mistake because the cost of these claims will also come in the form of increased insurance premiums, which gets passed along to their tenants, consumers or guests.
An imperative solution to reduce the number of slip and fall accidents is to use an alternate method to clean floors that is not only more effective than a wet mop and bucket, but one that also simultaneously leaves the floor dry. This means that no signage may be necessary as the risk of slipping during cleaning is successfully mitigated. Our latest cleaning innovation is the MotoMop™ small area cleaning machine. To find out why MotoMop is right for your facility, visit Betco.com and use our automated cost calculator to calculate your savings or call customer service at (888) GO-BETCO for more information.