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Activity in District of Columbia retain establishments can vary widely throughout the day, but businesses may benefit from identifying low-traffic times for floor maintenance. Without good maintenance of flooring surfaces, a company could face greater risks of premises liability cases due to slips and falls. Mopping and cleaning floors while customers are present could dramatically increase the possibility of a slip or fall. While cleaning the floor might be handled regularly, it is also wise to review the standards and materials periodically to ensure that this activity doesn’t actually increase slip-and-fall risks through buildup of materials or erosion of a surface.

Although cleaning the floors of a building might seem like a matter of common sense, the reality is that long-term cleaning can result in poor traction, which can increase the risk of an individual slipping. Those responsible for assigning cleaning tasks should periodically review the condition of a floor surface to determine whether traction is appropriate. In some cases, those who slip do so because of their own footwear. However, at least 50 percent of slip-and-fall accidents can be connected to problems with the surface in question. In addition to wearing out of the flooring surface, environmental conditions can affect safety levels. For example, snow, rain, and dirt can affect a floor as patrons of a business enter. These materials can produce slippery conditions that can lead to a slip.

A business owner may find that testing the coefficient of friction for a property’s flooring provides a better understanding of the risks. Scheduling such testing at least once per year may reduce the risk of a serious issue leading to legal and financial problems because of an injured customer or employee.

A patron who is injured on a slippery floor might have grounds for legal action if negligence can be shown on the part of the proprietor. A lawyer might investigate the physical qualities of such a surface to determine if the traction levels meet appropriate standards.

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