How can cleaning take the physical and financial pain out of slips, trips and falls? Dianna Steinbach, Director of EMEA Services, ISSA discusses.

Slips, trips and falls are a banana skin for UK business. Only there is no funny side. Their effects account for more than a third of employee injuries, losing 1.5m working days per annum and producing an equally painful annual bill of £500m, according to the National Floor Safety Institute.

These numbers are clear in detailing the cost. What is far less explicit is an awareness of the value of cleaning, and how it can make a valuable contribution in reducing the human and financial impact of workplace accidents.

As the global association for the professional cleaning sector, ISSA is passionate in helping its members change the way the world views cleaning. One way in which we can effectively promote our professional expertise is as a tool of risk management, contributing to an effective health and safety policy. We are committed to gaining a broader awareness of quality cleaning as an investment, not a cost. It is widely recognised that prevention programmes are less expensive than the total cost of workplace injuries.

Slips, trips, and falls can be reduced and prevented through a comprehensive risk assessment. There are a number of scientific instruments and standards that verify risk which validate the opportunity we have to promote and implement cost- effective solutions for floor safety.

Substances on floors are the most common causes of slips, trips and


falls. The overwhelming culprit is hazardous walking surfaces with a 55% share among the top five causes. Instituting proper cleaning procedures, best practices, and effective cleaning products reduce the potential for such incidents and should be emphasised to property owners as a key part of their prevention strategy.

However, it’s not enough to just identify workplace hazards and potential injuries. The true benefits are not to be viewed in isolation. We aren’t just offering cleaning services or products. Together, our professional mission is to increase respect for our industry on many levels. Consequently, we also need to validate how investments in safety products, proper matting, and documented cleaning programmes can reduce potential hazards, slips, and falls.

Further advancing cleaning as risk management, we must sharpen our ability to define the value of cleanliness at every opportunity; whether we are seeking to convince facility executives or building service contractors. Actively show how safety awareness, site-based audits, policies, and products create a safe work environment for occupants, visitors, and frontline workers.

Be proactive and advocate the more sophisticated dimensions of the role our industry now plays. Stay up to date with third-party studies, white

papers, and insurance data which demonstrate that a safe facility reduces potential risk and cost.

We don’t just encourage our members to endorse the value of clean, ISSA also delivers training and courses of instruction; metrics, tips, information and data that contribute to the veracity of everything you do. We also provide access to everything you need with our Value of Clean tools – including a presentation to help you make a convincing case. The value of clean calculator enables you to show your customers the total value of proper cleaning. Connecting cleaning to a business' ultimate bottom line is an essential approach.

To give you the credibility in delivering this message, ISSA’s Cleaning Industry Management Service (CIMS), provides certification as evidence of professionalism and excellence; reinforcing higher standards of quality, service, and sustainability. CIMS works under the five recognised pillars of management excellence including Health, Safety & Environmental Stewardship.

So get out there and evangelise the value of clean. It’s fundamental to our mission and your success in creating a healthier and safer world. Making a positive impact on the unacceptable rates of slips, trips and falls in UK workplaces is a great step toward conveying the true value of clean.

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