The top five ways to reduce slips and falls in restaurants, cafés and bars

Did you know that slips and trips injuries comprise 35% of ‘major’ injuries in the food and drink industries* (for example, causing a broken arm or requiring hospitalisation). Slips injuries are more prevalent in the food and drink industries than in most other industries.*

While preventing slips and falls should be an obvious priority, even the slightest miscalculation can prove to be an expensive liability. Food and beverage spills, torn carpets, damaged flooring and poor lighting are all ingredients for creating slip and fall accidents in modern eateries. The following are five ways to reduce the chances of these accidents occurring in restaurants and commercial kitchens.

Ensure that your restaurant’s floors have the right slip resistance.

A slip occurs when there is not enough traction between your shoes and the walking surface.

Surfaces subject to water, grease, oils and other common restaurant contaminants are more prone to slipping and so we developed Altro Stronghold 30 which has our highest rating for slip resistance (PTV ≥55, R12), which is ideal for the kitchen area where these contaminants are typically found.

Whatever your risk assessment shows, we have a floor option that will suit, be it a specialist floor, a safety floor, or a smooth floor for areas where there is a low slip-risk.

Choose a floor with sustained slip resistance

Restaurant, café and bar floors see a lot of feet. If you choose a safety floor, you expect it to help prevent slips – but what if the slip resistance deteriorates over time? Our safety floors offer sustained slip resistance for the life of the floor; up to 25 years.

Clean and maintain your floors regularly as per the manufacturer’s recommendations.

Even the most slip-resistant floor, can become dangerous if not maintained regularly and properly. Cleaners, sealers, and waxes all have an impact on slip resistance. Using the wrong maintenance procedures can be detrimental to the slip resistance of your restaurant’s flooring and compromise safety.

In the case of commercial kitchens, an eroded surface can harbour harmful bacteria that can potentially find their way into a customer’s meal in addition to contributing to slips and falls. It’s a fact that one in ten people fall ill every year from eating contaminated food, and 420, 000 people die each year as a result**.

Help avoid these issues by adhering to the manufacturer’s recommended cleaning and maintenance guidelines.

We offer downloadable cleaning guides, covering manual, mechanical and steam cleaning methods.

Ensure there is a smooth, seamless transition between flooring surfaces.

Contrary to popular belief, a raised transition strip is not the only solution to connecting adjacent surfaces. Raised structures can contribute to accidental trips and impede movement. This includes tears in carpets and flooring warped from moisture and subpar installation.

A seamless transition via heat welding or other means between areas (such as a wet to dry area transition) gives your flooring a uniform look while preventing tripping incidents caused by raised structures.

Use contrasting LRVs to clearly identify surface changes.

Light Reflectance Values (LRVs) and the difference they can make in an environment are not always taken into consideration. LRVs measure contrast of light on a zero to 100 scale, with zero being dark and 100 being light. When designing a restaurant, similar values make distinguishing two adjacent area finishes difficult – it could even create the perception of a step when there isn’t actually one there, which could cause a fall. Alerting people to a step can of course be an advantage: contrasting LRVs are a great way to signal a step up or down, which is ideal for busy staff or customers who aren’t familiar with the lay-out. To get this right, there should always be a 30 point difference in LRV between floors, walls and ceilings.

For help choosing the right floor for every area within your café, bar or restaurant, take a look at our product selector.

We also have new guidance on floors and walls for these areas, including a downloadable brochure.


**Source: 10 facts on food safety

Posted: 29/11/2018 10:44:38 by Saloni Robinson | with 0 comments