Assessing Slip Risk in a Wet Leisure Environment

Swimming pools, jacuzzis, steam rooms, saunas and even bathrooms and shower areas all bring with them a unique range of challenges to health and safety professionals responsible for ensuring the floor environment is as safe as possible to predominantly barefooted users.

Together these areas represent a key contributor towards slips and injuries which can all too often be serious; nearly all recorded major slips result in broken bones. Assessing slip resistance accurately, and being able to evidence the effectiveness of controls is critical for health and safety professionals to be confident that they are delivering on their duty of care in this hazardous environment.

Pendulum testing, the standard HSE approved method used to assess and quantify slip risks on floors, must be tailored for leisure environments by using a specific, unique, slider which simulates barefoot traffic (Slider 55). That said, it is also important to bear in mind that these areas will also be used by staff that are unlikely to be barefoot, so thorough testing with the Slider 96 (shod traffic) will be necessary. To get a reliable result, you should use a trained professional.

Surfaces do change over time, with the normal wear and tear of everyday use, plus the introduction of contaminants on the floor, which may not always be pure water. By a pool, for example, there will invariably be chemicals too, such as chlorine and even small amounts of body fats, which can often represent the main contributing factor where slip risks are concerned.

Such residues can be removed by effective cleaning by specialist chemicals to prevent any compromise in the performance of the floor surface. In the case of body fats, they are largely invisible, meaning a floor or surface can look clean when not actually clean to the standard required to ensure the slip risk is within acceptable levels. This is an issue that can be identified quickly and clearly through effective objective slip resistance testing using the pendulum method.

Thresholds such as door strips, where one surface meets another, can also be areas that need attention, particularly in facilities with steam rooms and saunas. No matter how good the overall standards, a specific and tailored approach to assessing slip risks at these thresholds is essential.

Bonasystems works closely with our customers to mitigate slip risk in challenging wet leisure environments. We offer onsite pendulum testing, expert advice, and a range of floor care products specifically designed for daily maintenance and deep cleaning of wet leisure floors and surfaces.

Get in touch today to find out how we can help you and your business. 

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