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
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
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 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
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
without any coating, such as
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
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
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
C O A T I N G S T H A T
MEET THE STANDARD
HOW OFTEN SHOULD
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
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
If a hazardous condition is
reported between inspections,
prompt cleaning within 10-15
minutes of the report is generally
Abrasive anti-slip flooring and
floor coatings generally tear up
regular mops quickly.
Commercial businesses can
clean floors by:
including nooks and crannies
where debris likes to hide.
2.Use a commercial-grade mop
or floor scrubber and
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
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.
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
•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
•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
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
• 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
• 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.
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
•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
•Avoid making any public statements about the cause of the accident. Fill out
your internal accident reports, sticking to the factual information only, no
•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
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 www.psjanitorial.com.
Slide 1 – Photo “1439458” is provided by http://www.freeimages.com/
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