5 Ways to Make Your Industrial Flooring Safer, More Efficient, and More Compliant
From staying compliant with industry regulations to saving your business thousands of dollars on possible employee compensation claims because of slip and fall accidents, there are many reasons to ensure your industrial flooring stays clean and safe for use.
If you’re asking, “How do I make my floor safe?” you’re in luck. In this article, we’ll discuss five things you can do to ensure the floor in your commercial property does not give you any problems.
1. Understanding OSHA and GMP Standards and Requirements for Industrial Flooring
Compliance is a critical component of facility management and ownership and should never be taken lightly. Regulations and standards exist to ensure safety, protect the environment, and promote ethical business practices.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is one of the regulatory agencies in the United States. Any facility manager should be familiar with it. But the question is, do you know their occupational and safety standards? If not, it’s time to learn about them.
In the context of industrial flooring, OSHA standards require that floors be kept clean and dry, while walking and working surfaces should be free of hazards. There are no complex requirements, so they should be easy to follow.
Another set of guidelines that can help your facility maintain safer, more efficient, and compliant industrial flooring is the Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP). GMP is a set of regulations that govern manufacturing products for human consumption. GMP standards are designed to ensure that products are safe, effective, and high-quality.
Complying with OSHA and GMP standards for industrial flooring is essential for ensuring workplace safety and maintaining product quality. Failure to meet these standards can result in fines, legal liability, and possibly damage to a company’s reputation.
2. Install the Right Type of Flooring
According to the National Floor Safety Institute, 85% of employee compensation claims in the United States are due to slip and fall accidents. And 55% of them happen because of hazardous flooring.
Several flooring hazards can increase the chance of trips and falls, including floor cracking and spalling, uneven surfaces, unmarked stairs, dust, powder, grease, and debris left on the floor. Floors also get slippery when wet.
Some businesses can easily eliminate these hazards through proper floor maintenance. But in other facilities, these hazards are part of the operation. For example, it will be challenging to completely remove the risk if your processes involve using liquids. In this case, installing anti-slip flooring can help solve the issue.
Generally, you must ensure the floor in your facility suits the purpose or use of the area. The right flooring material can protect your people and other assets. For instance, facilities that store or use electronics will benefit significantly from electrostatic discharge (ESD) flooring. This type of floor protects electronics from damage from static electricity generated when people walk.
If heavy machinery or vehicles are driven around the facility, you’ll need a durable and sturdy floor to withstand the pressure. One of the options, in this case, is an epoxy mortar resurfacer. This material can withstand 10,000 pounds per square inch (PSI) or more, which is two to three times more than concrete flooring can handle.
3. Use Color to Identify Different Areas of Your Facility
In addition to ensuring your facility has the right kind of floor, using colors can also improve safety in the workplace. Safety colors are used to inform workers of the hazards present in a particular area.
For example, red indicates the presence of fire protection equipment. On the other hand, yellow means there are physical hazards. Right now, there are no widely accepted or government-mandated standards about what colors to utilize when marking floors. However, your facility can follow safety color standards used by reputable organizations.
One of the organizations that provides safety color recommendations is the Occupational Safety and Health Association (OSHA), and the other is the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). Most safety colors from these two organizations have the same meaning.
4. Implement a Maintenance Plan to Keep Your Flooring in Good Condition
If your facility doesn’t have a floor maintenance plan, now is the time to create one. An industrial facility’s flooring is subjected to harsh conditions, such as heavy foot traffic, equipment movement, spills, and chemical exposure. Without proper maintenance, the flooring can get dirty and damaged over time.
Repairing a damaged floor will cost your business money. Depending on the issue, the repair service can cost a few hundred or even thousands of dollars. The need for repair can also cause downtime and delays in your operations, which also means loss of profit.
Additionally, a damaged and dirty floor is a safety hazard. Unkempt floors can create more tripping and slipping hazards. Workers exposed to bacteria on the floor can also develop health problems. And since a dirty workplace violates specific government regulations, your facility can face legal consequences.
Therefore, it’s crucial to have a maintenance plan in place. The specific maintenance activities and products you’ll need depend on the flooring material. For example, a polished concrete floor requires daily dust mopping and pH-neutral cleaning solutions. On the other hand, industrial epoxy flooring systems are highly chemical resistant so you can use a wide variety of cleaning solutions and not damage the flooring system.
Flooring contractors can help you create a custom floor maintenance plan. So, if you don’t have a proper maintenance plan, consider enlisting an expert’s help. Flooring contractors can help you tailor your facility’s daily cleaning and maintenance tasks to your budget.
5. Train Employees on How to Use Industrial Flooring Safely
Employees should be aware of the possible dangers on the floor, so they can avoid serious injuries and accidents while they carry out their daily tasks. They should also be mindful of essential floor safety practices. Using methods like safety colors will have no effect if your employees don’t know what they mean in the first place.
That’s why giving safety training is important. Every facility should develop floor training programs that are comprehensive and pertinent. Every employee should be trained when they join your team and when the facility implements new safety practices.
Industrial flooring must be kept in good condition to ensure employee and customer safety and compliance with industry regulations. Also, remember that the look of your facility affects the way your employees and customers perceive your business. If the flooring is not in its best state, it can negatively affect your reputation and your bottom line.
Maintaining industrial flooring does not often come cheap. However, compared to the possible losses and consequences of having a dirty and damaged floor, the amount you pay for products and floor contractors is less costly in the long run.
Let Professionals Maintain Your Industrial Flooring
Maintaining industrial flooring can be a daunting and time-consuming task. It requires expertise and specialized equipment to ensure the flooring remains safe, efficient, and compliant.
Professional flooring contractors can keep your floors in optimal condition, extending their lifespan and reducing the likelihood of accidents and injuries. No matter what industrial floor coatings you have in your facility, experts can help you identify the best maintenance practices and products for them.
Furthermore, flooring contractors can provide tailored maintenance plans that suit the business’s needs. These can include regular inspections, cleaning, repairs, and advice on optimizing the flooring for better safety, efficiency, and compliance.
For more on industrial flooring, please don’t hesitate to contact Kaloutas today. With Kaloutas, you have a partner that will take care of all your facility’s flooring needs.