Ceram Voices Concerns over District Council’s Slippery Floors

The impact of cleaning regimes on floor surfaces should never be overlooked.

Lisa Cobden, Senior Slip Consultant at Ceram, a leading provider of slip resistance testing, expressed her concern at the news last week that New Forest District Council has lost a £300,000 legal battle over slippery floors at three of its leisure centres.

The council had spent £10,000 renewing floors but soon had complaints. Taxpayers' money was used taking the flooring firm to court where it was found that the problem was not the flooring itself but the wax that had been used to clean it.

Ceram provides slip testing for all flooring materials and their consultants often come across similar instances. "We are frequently called out by site owners who cannot understand why the new flooring they've recently laid is just as slippery as the old flooring that they had. When we explain to them that it's the cleaning regime that is causing people to slip rather than the flooring, you can see them almost kick themselves. They could have saved considerable sums of money by simply asking a slip consultant to investigate the problem before they went to the expense of replacing the whole floor."

Flooring surfaces should be continually monitored to ensure that they do not pose a health and safety risk; slips and trips at work and in public spaces cost local authorities and businesses more than £512m per year in compensation and legal fees. Ceram provides a full on-site consultancy service, with testing on a regular basis and advice on how to take preventative action, should the flooring surface start to deteriorate. Ceram's advanced surface analysis capabilities enables the surface of any flooring to be analysed and identifies the causes of slippery flooring as well as providing methods to improve safety.

"The £10,000 that New Forest District Council spent replacing their floors is a drop in the ocean compared to the £300,000 that they then went on to spend in taking the flooring firm to court," said Lisa Cobden. "If only they had asked a slip resistance consultant to test their floors, they would have saved thousands of pounds of taxpayers' money."

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