According to a case study released by the Health & Safety Executive, the risk of being injured by slipping as a result of machining dust contaminating factory floors was highlighted after a HSE inspector slipped on a workshop floor covered in such dust. While the inspector was fortunately not injured by his slipping accident, it was confirmed by the company that the processing dust on walkways and work area floors did represent a serious risk of slipping injuries to workers and workshop visitors alike.
Factors causing these slip injury risks
Apparently, two main factors contributed to the increased risk of injuries by slipping in this factory. To begin with, it was not possible to completely prevent the fine dust (10 microns and below) generated by graphite components being cut/machined from contaminating the company’s painted concrete floors. Although the existing extract ventilation was fairly effective, the indoor filtration system did not have the capacity to capture all of the dust, leaving some of it free to settle on floors. This was added to by the system’s filter bags having to be emptied manually, which inevitably resulted in parts of the dust being released back into the environment.
How the risk of slip-related injuries was reduced
The first step in reducing the risk of slip injuries was to increase the slip-resistance of the floors. Following a series of test treatments involving epoxy paints containing various additional particles, a two-part epoxy with gritty particles eventually provided secure footage even when covered deliberately in carbon dust. This finish was then applied to all workshop floors. It also served to improve the slip-resistance of chequer-plate metal stairs.
Step two in preventing slip injuries
The company’s existing localised dust capture/extraction system was then replaced with a more efficient, centralised system. Placing the required filtration plant outside served to prevent recontamination and subsequently further reduced the risk of slips resulting in personal injuries to visitors or workers.
This company recognised a potential risk and took preventative measures to protect their employees and visitors against accidental injuries before someone was seriously hurt. If you were injured by tripping, falling or slipping at work or in a public place because such steps were not taken, you may be entitled to personal injury compensation. Get your no win no fee* claim for compensation started by calling Accident Advice Helpline for advice and legal assistance today on 0800 689 0500 or 0333 500 0993 from a mobile.
Date Published: February 19, 2014
Author: David Brown