As we say goodbye to the beautiful fall weather and prepare for the long winter days ahead (i.e. dig out our winter boots, put on the snow tires, and find the shovel), it’s important we remember to winterize the office too.
We all know Canadian winters can be brutal. The snow, freezing cold temperatures, and ice are not only unpleasant, but often times dangerous. Outside we use salt and sand to get around safely, but what happens when we come in?
Let’s face it- tracking in snow creates the potential for a slippery situation. When there isn’t enough traction between your shoe and the floor, there’s a good chance you’ll fall. According to the Association of Workers’ Compensation Boards of Canada, almost 30,000 workers are injured each year from a slipping incident. Yikes! So what can you do to keep everyone safe this winter?
Start with flooring. Implementing some simple precautionary measures and maintaining your floor surface are some of the best ways to prevent slipping. Taking a proactive approach to floor maintenance will not only help keep employees and visitors safe, but also extend the life of one of the biggest and most expensive assets in your building.
Here are 5 tips to make your floors safer this winter:
1. Do a light scrub and recoat floors with a quality floor finish before the next (or if you’re lucky, first) winter storm hits.
2. Ensure you have extra matting in all entryways to absorb the melting snow coming into the building.
3. Consider installing abrasive strips or using an abrasive-filled coating on floors near entrances to improve traction in high-traffic areas.
4. Increase the frequency of mopping during the harshest months to minimize the amount of water and debris on the floor.
5. Use a floor cleaning solution that is specifically formulated for the winter months.
When entering any building during the winter, always remember to look for bright yellow Wet Floor signs. Encountering a wet floor is inevitable, so when you do slow down! Walking with your feet pointed slightly outward, and making wide turns around corners can reduce the risk of slipping.