Keeping wet areas accident free
Health clubs that have wet areas such as showers, pools, saunas, and steam rooms must exercise additional loss prevention practices in those areas to help keep them accident free.
- Educate all employees about the importance of keeping floors free of slip, trip, and fall hazards.
- Maintain and document inspection and cleaning procedures of wet areas. These procedures should include an hourly inspection of showers and other wet areas for potential slip and fall hazards as well as validating that mats are in place and do not present a tripping hazard. Additionally, health clubs should inspect all floor tiles and surfaces to ensure they are even and free of gaps, gouges, and broken areas. They should make sure steps and other elevation changes are clearly visible.
- Clean mats, floor tiles, shower stalls, and sitting surfaces frequently to reduce bacterial growth.
- Use non-skid mats and/or vinyl floor tiles designed for showers and other wet areas.
- Use non-skid wax and cleaners on floor surfaces.
- Post signage requiring pool or hot tub users to dry off in the area, so they do not track water throughout the facility.
- Use caution signs to warn of slippery conditions. Post warning signage advising of possible slippery conditions at entranceways, particularly where patrons enter a locker room and lobby areas after being in a pool or hot tub.
- Prominently post pool rules and guidelines for everyone to see. These rules should reinforce a “no running” policy.
- Use signage to encourage clients to report any excessive water on the floor or slippery conditions. Be prepared to respond as soon as possible to address the issue.
Here are some additional tips to consider when posting warning signage:
- Warnings must be clear, comprehensible, and adequate to give the user notice of a potential hazard.
- The closer the sign is to eye level, the more effective it will be.
- When you use warning signs on the floor, make sure there are enough signs to mark off the area that the pedestrian needs to avoid.
- Signs are even more effective if they are connected to each other by yellow chains or tapes to form an easily-seen barrier.
- Warnings that use pictographs are more reliable than those that require reading.
Sotter, PE. Ph.D. George. STOP Slip and Fall Accidents!. Sotter Engineering Corporation. CA. 2000
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