Workplace safety is an important aspect of building design in any commercial operation. Considered a necessary evil in the past and often overlooked during construction, workplace safety is prioritised today by business owners and facility managers as they recognise that a safe workforce is more motivated and less of a financial burden for the organisation.

Workplace safety is required by Australian law; however, it also has a proven effect on boosting productivity, employee retention and product quality.

Getting the flooring right

According to the Key Work Health and Safety, 2015 report, trends in serious rates of claims show a dip. The report also reveals that falls from the same height (including slips and trips on floor surfaces) remain the 3rd most serious cause of injury in Australia, representing 14% of all claims. A serious claim is defined as a claim where the individual is away from work for one or more weeks.

There are several examples that highlight the damage and burden a workplace injury can cause, both for the individual involved and the business in terms of lost productivity, increased insurance premiums, fines and penalties, and damage to business reputation among others.

As flooring specialists, Remedial finds it frustrating that the issues causing businesses and employees so much pain can be avoided by simply getting their flooring right from the start.

Common hazards with commercial or industrial flooring

There are various reasons that can make a level surface unsafe for workers. For instance, floors made from a material that's slippery when wet, or cracked and uneven surfaces are dangerous. The best way to prevent falls is for business owners and facilities managers to undertake regular audits of their floor and look out for common flooring problems including cracked floors, slippery surfaces, high traffic areas, which have been known to have falls, hazardous chemicals seeping into the crevices, staining, and protrusions of tiles, and use of heavy machinery that damages floors.

Maintaining workplace safety requirements

Employers and facility managers are responsible for maintaining and improving workplace safety, and they can ensure it by educating their employees about looking out for unsafe floors and filing a note for immediate attention.

Though a floor repair job will cost money for the business owner in the short-term, the ongoing and long-term benefits far outweigh the expense, especially when one considers the savings made from ensuring the safety of employees and customers.

Ultimately, our advice to you is simple: Workplace safety saves lives and protects your most important business asset - your employees, your customers and you.