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SLIPS, TRIPS & FALLS


THE SOLUTION Upon visiting the site for the first time, it is common practice to conduct a pendulum test (the recognised slip test method in a UK court of law, and the approved method of the HSE). The test in this case revealed a very high slip risk with a reading of just nine wet PTV (or the Pendulum Test Value when the floor is wet). A PTV of 36 is the value that is deemed as the “safe value”, and represents a slip risk of just 1:1,000,000; as a comparison, a reading of 24 PTV represents a slip risk as high as one in 20 people. With such a bad reading, approved contractors from 4Earth Solutions were brought in to carry out a subsequent anti-slip treatment to the kitchen areas.


A full degrease using a neutral pH cleaning product was conducted first, and after just one hour’s treatment the floor was an impressive, very low slip risk of 42 – far exceeding the “legal level”. So great is the challenge in a kitchen environment, that it is important to ensure that the cleaning regime is effective enough to combat contaminants like grease and vegetable oils, which are an inherent


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by-product. The team then advised the client on how to effectively clean the area in much the same way they had been doing, but told them to replace the previous cleaning product which (although made by a reputable company) was not as fit for the task in hand – in effect, the product was actually contributing to the slip risk, rather than helping prevent incidents.


Since the application of 4Earth Anti- Slip and the use of an appropriate cleaning product, the kitchen has remained slip incident free, as have other customer premises that rely on our products. A business centre in the North of England has reduced slip accidents from five to zero, compared with the same period 12 months earlier. A landmark building in central London has not only been able to dispose of the unsightly mats across its extensive foyer, but has reduced slip incidents from several every week, to none in the nine months since application.


WILL IT LAST? Provided that the customer follows a good cleaning regime, and more importantly, provided that the instructions delegated to the


cleaning team or FM company are performed, there is no reason why the anti-slip will not last for well over the seven years that has so far seen several of the London Underground stations cope with a footfall of 64,000 per hour.


Each and every health and safety manager can enjoy complete peace of mind with our five-year warranty, knowing that in the unlikely event that their floor failed a pendulum test within that period, but they have cleaned and maintained the floor correctly, then we will re-treat the floor at no cost to them – just one of the reasons that the UK insurance industry works with us to offer customers with a history of slip claims a reduction in insurance premiums!


So, life in any working environment does not have to be dangerous. To borrow a phrase from the American Congressman Charles B. Rangel: “I am in the kitchen and I’m not walking out!”


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