One of the greatest risks grocery and convenience stores face is oftentimes right under your feet: slippery floors. In a study conducted by the National Safety Council over 8 million annual emergency hospital visits result from slips and falls. According to the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration, these incidents also lead the country in workers compensation claims and rank as the second highest cause of accidental death.
Grocery and convenience stores are especially susceptible to wet floors because of heavy foot traffic, spillage and leaks from refrigerators. If an employee or customer happened to slip and injure themself while on your premises, your business could be held responsible.
Fortunately, you can mop up the problem with this slip-stopping approach:
- Identify the problem. Look at your past incident reports to identify common problem areas (entrances, bathrooms, etc.). Then create an action plan to minimize their risks.
- Control the environment. Walk-off mats at store entrances are helpful in capturing debris and absorbing water before customers enter the store. Make sure to regularly wash and dry mats, then go over them with an extractor to remove excess water. Flatten out curled edges and replace worn-out mats. Consider adding mats to the produce area where added moisture may be present.
- Display safety signs. Make sure any slip, trip or fall threats are clearly marked. Use wet floor signs only when the floor is actually wet, otherwise you run the risk of having these signs ignored in the future. Warn customers of areas where they will need to step up or down. Make sure steps and stairs are well lit.
- Clean floors on a regular basis. Implement a regular cleaning schedule, including removal of debris or foreign objects from the floor (especially in the produce area), sweeping and mopping. Mopping should be done at non-peak times during low visitor traffic. Only spot-mop when necessary and always use appropriate signage. Develop a sweep log to mark when an employee should walk the aisles looking for slip, trip and fall hazards. Having each department inspect their aisles every 15 to 30 minutes establishes a pattern of proactive hazard identification and elimination.
For more smart solutions to your unique business challenges, our experienced risk control team is able to lend a hand. Want to stock up on more safety? Our convenience store and grocery store policies supply the necessary protections specific to your industry, including comprehensive spoilage and outdoor property coverage. Find your nearest local independent Society agent for more on how Society can make a big difference for your business.