No matter how safe a workplace may be, slips and falls will always be an inevitable part of working in industries that have slippery conditions, such as food service, health care, hospitality, facilities maintenance, construction, grocery, retail and of course, the carwash industry.
The carwash slip and slide
It’s no secret that carwash facilities are filled with soap and water, creating slippery workspaces for carwash owners and their employees alike. According to the 2016 Liberty Mutual Research Workplace Safety Index, same level falls were the second cause of workplace injuries, costing the U.S. $10.17 billion. To keep these costs down and to keep employees safely on their feet, it is important for carwash businesses to invest in slip-and-fall prevention and gear.
Slip-and-fall prevention within the carwash industry begins when companies develop a culture where the workforce is dedicated to improving slip-and-fall incidents before they even occur. Even minor incidents should be taken seriously, and employers should encourage employees to report troublesome areas that are particularly slippery. Creating this type of culture and work environment will help carwash employees feel valued as workers as well as help carwash owners choose the correct non-slip footwear solution for their companies.
When researching and developing effective solutions for slips and falls within the carwash industry as well as choosing the best slip-and-fall prevention option for employees, it is important that carwash owners consider a variety of factors, such as budget, comfort, quality, compatibility, industry standards and work conditions in which the product will be used.
Finding the right non-slip footwear
One of the main challenges that employers face when choosing a non-slip product for their companies is determining a budget and proving a positive return on investment. However, the 2011 Liberty Mutual study found that slip-resistant shoes cut slip/fall rates by half, proving that investing in non-slip footwear is beneficial.
With that said, many employers may still be tempted to choose a product of lesser quality due to its lower price point. While this may seem like the best economic choice when first purchasing the product, if the product doesn’t offer the support and slip prevention necessary to keep employees safely on their feet, it may not be the best choice.
At the end of the day, employers want a high-quality, long-lasting product that provides greater productivity, efficiency and safety to employers. While cheaper options may originally offer these benefits, they will most likely wear out faster and need to be replaced more often, costing companies more time and money in the long run.
The product’s compatibility to carwash industry standards also needs to be examined when choosing the best non-slip footwear product for employees. If the product isn’t made well with the appropriate adhesives and stitching, it may not prevent slips and falls. For a sole to be slip-resistant, it must meet an industry minimum standard value of 0.5 passes approval for wet and dry surfaces, and a low value of 0.3 for contaminated surfaces often seen in carwash facilities, such as oil, grease and soap.
No more slip-ups
From an employee standpoint, being provided non-slip footwear eliminates the challenge of putting productivity before one’s own safety while proving that employers want to create a work culture where employee safety is a valuable part of everyday operations. Additional benefits and advantages for both the employer and employees within the carwash industry include preventing lost productivity and business, reducing or holding down the cost of insurance premiums, avoiding costs associated with replacing injured workers, avoiding temporary or permanent disability and preventing injuries that reduce quality of life.
Whatever footwear product carwash employers choose to provide for their employees, the main objective is to create a safer workplace. By knowing facts and information about slip-and-fall incidents in the carwash industry, adopting a program to reduce slip-and-fall incidents, training employees to report any troublesome workplace conditions and identifying the appropriate footwear solution for the workplace, carwash owners and employers can continue to improve the safety conditions of their facilities.
STABIL™ is a U.S. manufacturer of non-slip traction footwear. STABIL’s line of safety products is specifically designed to prevent slips in even the greasiest, wettest or iciest conditions. One product that continues to aid workers in slippery workplaces, such as carwashes, is STABIL Grippers. STABIL Grippers employ a proprietary tread and sole compound that, when combined, provides one of the best non-slip applications on the market. To learn more, visit www.stabilgear.com.