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Guidelines for Commercial Floor Maintenance


Published on | Make your consumers happy and avoid litigation with these tips to keep your floors clean and safe for all.

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Guidelines for Commercial Floor Maintenance

  1. 1. G U I D E L I N E S F O R C O M M E R C I A L M A I N T E N A N C E FLOOR
  2. 2. C O M M E R C I A L M A I N T E N A N C E A N D T H E L A W FLOOR Currently, there are no specified laws or regulations that govern commercial floor cleaning and maintenance. This means that each business owner is responsible for keeping floors maintained to a “reasonable” standard, which can vary considerably, according to what judges and juries deem to be “reasonable.” Reasonable floor care is generally considered to include regular cleaning, floor inspections, and responsible behavior if a slip and fall accident does occur. This presentation outlines the steps for cleaning and inspecting floors, as well as addressing accidents that can lead to litigation (lawsuits).
  3. 3. T O C O A T O R N O T T O C O A T : BARE FLOORS VS. FLOO R CO ATI N G S Some bare floors are reasonably slip-resistant without any coating, such as concrete. Other floors, particularly vinyl and vinyl composition tile (VCT) tend to become slippery and dangerous when wet. Floor coating does more than just protect people walking on the floor, it also: •Extends the life of the flooring •Makes floors easier to clean •Looks prettier and shinier •Can reduce the amount of light necessary to illuminate the area
  4. 4. Most floor coatings available today are made to meet the ASTM D-2047 standard. This standard defines coating that is reasonably slip-resistant. Some bare flooring also meet the ASTM D-2047 slip-resistance standards. Ask your flooring distributor or floor coating salesperson if your floor or coating meets this standard of slip-resistance. Though this standard is not required by law, its use is considered to be taking “reasonable” precautions to protect employees, customers, and visitors from injury. Without a flooring made to this standard, the company can be open to legal liability for slip and fall accidents. C O A T I N G S T H A T MEET THE STANDARD
  5. 5. HOW OFTEN SHOULD COMMERCIAL FLOORING B E C L E A N E D ? Again, the law provides no standards for the frequency of cleaning commercial flooring. The responsibility lies with the business owner. Cleaning frequency should be determined by how contaminated the floors become during the course of a typical business day. Most retail businesses can clean floors once per day, followed by regular inspections for spills that could lead to slip and fall accidents. Hourly inspections are considered normal practice in most businesses. If a hazardous condition is reported between inspections, prompt cleaning within 10-15 minutes of the report is generally considered “reasonable.”
  6. 6. Abrasive anti-slip flooring and floor coatings generally tear up regular mops quickly. Commercial businesses can clean floors by: 1.Thoroughly sweeping, including nooks and crannies where debris likes to hide. 2.Use a commercial-grade mop or floor scrubber and commercial-grade mopping solution. Mix and use according to the package instructions. HOW SHOULD COMMERCIAL FLOORING BE CLEANED? 3. Treat stains with commercial-grade mopping solution and a hard-bristled brush. 4. Supplement regular cleanings with a quality floor buffing to maintain shine. 5. Pay attention to the wear and tear on the floor coating, particularly in heavy- traffic areas. Re-coat when necessary.
  7. 7. Since most business owners depend on cleaning and maintenance staff to keep floors in good shape, training these employees to identify and address floor issues that affect the appearance and safety of the business is essential. •First, set up policies to address floor cleaning and maintenance issues, as well as a log indicating reports of safety issues and what was done to address each of these reports. •All employees should be trained to check floors for spills. Employees should have a specific procedure to follow when cleaning or safety issues arise. •Keep “Wet Floor” signs handy to set up until the cleaning crew can address spills. •Cleaning and maintenance staff should have the appropriate materials and equipment on hand at all times to clean up spills that could lead to slip and fall accidents. •Pay particular attention to entranceways during inclement weather, including ice, snow, and rain. Absorbent mats are good for keeping these areas slip-free, but mats can sometimes roll up and become tripping hazards. Train employees to keep mats in place and to remove mats that are in the way. TRAINING WORKERS ON FLOOR CLEANING AND INSPECTIONS
  8. 8. O T H E R P O T E N T I A L S L I P A N D F A L L FLOOR HAZARDS TO ADDRESS Aside from spills and wet floors, other hazards can lead to accidents and potential litigation. Address these situations immediately: • Damaged flooring that could cause people to trip. Repair damaged flooring as soon as possible. • Wires laid across walkways that could cause trips and falls. Install plugs where needed, so no wires have to be strewn across walkways. • Paint used on concrete should always be abrasive to prevent slips. Paint over any slick paint used on floors or parking lots with an abrasive concrete paint.
  9. 9. Even the most cautious and conscientious businesses sometimes have accidents. Take these steps to reduce your chances of facing litigation. •Get the victim comfortable. Do not move anyone that potentially has neck or back injuries. •Call for emergency help. Even if the person insists they are okay, it’s better to have a medical professional check them out. •Try to find what caused the person to slip and fall. •Make note of the clothing and especially the footwear the person is wearing. Write down everything the fall victim says, exactly how they say it. •As soon as the victim is removed from the scene, take photos of the area where the accident occurred. Try to find any witnesses to the accident and get their statements. •Avoid making any public statements about the cause of the accident. Fill out your internal accident reports, sticking to the factual information only, no speculation. •If necessary, contact your insurance company regarding an accident claim. WHAT TO DO IF SOMEONE D O E S S L I P A N D F A L L
  10. 10. Every business wants and needs great cleaning equipment, but not all can afford the pricey new models. PS Janitorial doesn’t just sell “used” equipment, we offer high-quality refurbished floor sweepers, floor scrubbers, and buffers, which have been refurbished and tested by trained technicians. This equipment is available at as much as 50% less than new equipment costs, saving you money without sacrificing anything in terms of quality. For more information and to view PS Janitorial’s inventory, please visit
  11. 11. Sources: Image Attributions: Slide 1 – Photo “1439458” is provided by
  12. 12. Summary: Well-cleaned and well-maintained commercial flooring doesn't just make your business look great, it can also impact your chances of facing litigation for slip and fall accidents. Learn how to keep floors clean and cut down your legal liability.