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The onset of bad weather in winter always raises the prospect of wet and dirty floors, which are the cause of many accidents and injuries in the workplace and public spaces.

Nobody likes to think about serious accidents happening full stop, but when they do occur they can cause not only inconvenience, but also suffering and - at worst - serious injuries for the person involved. This leads to disruption for the people responsible for the building and can also result in lengthy and costly legal problems for the people responsible for the building. The challenge facing building operators, service contractors and suppliers is how to reduce the risk, and hence number, of these accidents.

This is no insignificant problem. The HSE says that slips and trips are the most common cause of major injuries at work, accounting for 50% of all reported


accidents to members of the public that happen in workplaces. The total cost to employers is £512 million and a further £133 million is spent by the health service in treating the injuries. These figures are improving, year on year, thanks to efforts by regulators and the various stakeholders, but there is more to do.

Inevitably it falls on building operators and owners to take responsibility for mitigating the risk to their employees, guests and visitors. Keeping floors clean and dry is a good place to start. In most buildings the biggest problem is likely to be just inside the door because this is closest to wet outdoor areas and intensely used by people entering the building. Floors

in these areas are typically hard surfaces such as vinyl, ceramic or stone which can be particularly susceptible to causing slips when they are wet or dirty. But they are easy to clean and maintain with the right equipment.

Larger buildings are likely to have access to scrubber driers that they, or their cleaning services contractor, will use for general floor maintenance. One of the big benefits of the scrubber drier is that it actively cleans the floor, picks up debris and removes the soiled water with a combination of squeegee and suction to leave the surface clean and dry. Ideally they should be used with an appropriate cleaning product because this ensures dirt is removed completely while helping to

protect the flooring material for a long life of low maintenance. Some building owners, and even some cleaning contractors, erroneously believe that they can use their machines with water alone but this is a false economy. Leading suppliers, such as Diversey, offer a complete choice of products for use in the machine to achieve the best floor cleaning performance. Choosing the right product will save time, reduce any need for repeat cleaning and minimise costs.

Scrubber dryers come in all shapes and sizes, with the smallest being no bigger than an upright domestic vacuum cleaner and the largest being the size of a small car for cleaning the largest floors in places like

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