According to the Health and Safety Executive, slips and trips are the most common cause of major injuries at work and approximately 90 per cent of these injuries involve broken bones.
These accidents cost businesses over £500 million per year but the cost in terms of human suffering is, as the HSE says, incalculable.
Floor cleaning is one of the major causes of slip and trip accidents and victims can be the cleaners themselves, employees or visitors. Visitors, i.e. members of the public, face high risks of slipping when on local authority premises such as libraries and council offices for example, and also in retail premises such as supermarkets.
£200,000 pursued by nurse who slipped on newly cleaned floor
Back in July we blogged about senior staff nurse Lisa Fraser who faces a life on crutches and without independence after slipping on a floor at Southampton General Hospital which had just been cleaned. She was unable to return to her previous nursing duties and was pursuing a compensation claim of up to £200,000 against the hospital trust.
The HSE is running a project with the aim of reducing slips and trips associated with floor cleaning in both the private and public sector and is targeting a range of industries. Cleaning may take away risks, but at the same time it has the effect of introducing them.
The hazards of cleaning
Hazards can be caused by a range of factors. For example, failing to properly indicate a wet floor area could lead to slips on newly cleaned floors, as was the case with Nurse Fraser. The incorrect use of products can also result in issues, for example some floor cleaning equipment is limited for use with certain products and if these are substituted for those not designed for the job, the floor can become an ice rink.
Cleaners who have not received adequate training, using the wrong cleaning methods and failure to assess the health and safety risks posed by cleaning, or properly consult with cleaning professionals, can all create problems which could easily lead to slip accidents.
If you have been injured in a slip accident, either at work or on private or public premises, talk to Stephensons. Our specialist slip accident claims lawyers regularly take on local authorities, supermarket chains and other private companies in order to compensate our clients who have suffered injuries through no fault of their own. To find out whether you have a viable case, call us on 0844 245 6601. You’ll speak directly with a specialist solicitor who will be able to tell you straight away whether you have a good case.
By personal injury solicitor and Stephensons’ Partner, Kate Sweeney