Some commercial sector statistics and information
- The average payout for a workplace SFA is $48,000
- SFA cost Australian business $4 billion annually
- The highest payout was $2.7 million
- Workers Compensation premiums increase after an accident claim
- SFA is the second highest cause of workplace accidents after manual handling
- Floors decrease in slip resistance as they wear or get dirty.
These statistics suggest that there is a low level of awareness and understanding around slip resistance issues, non-compliance and the potential for financial and emotional loss.
How can this be?
In a country where building safety codes and regulations are so high, how can there be such a high incidence of SFA and their associated costs?
Possible reasons could be:
- Some floors have never been tested and therefore do not comply
- Poor cleaning and maintenance of floors
- Cleaning Contractors forced to compete on price take shortcuts to reduce time spent cleaning
- Incorrect tiles being recommended for a wet area
- Resilient floors wear over time and become slippery
- Management is unaware of the issue
- Management is aware of SFA but not willing to spend the money or believe they can’t afford it
- Incorrect footwear
- Water spills not cleaned up – no cleaning staff on hand
- Poor lighting
- Accidents can happen despite the best efforts of management to comply.
For these reasons, OHS officers and facility managers need to be aware of the issue and keep up to date with changes to the code. Typically, this is part of a Risk Assessment Strategy or an OHS Policy. Of course, the potential for an SFA increases when a company or the person responsible lacks the relevant information. It has been my observation that many businesses are not aware of their responsibilities in this area and the consequences of non-compliance.
We’d love to have a chat if you need some deeper information. Call Rob on