Wet floors are a major cause of accidents and, according to the Health and Safety Executive, responsible for most slips (source). Interestingly, slips and trips are also the most common workplace injury and cause on average over a third of all serious injuries. They also account for around 50% of injuries reported by members of the public that visit workplaces, for example hospitality venues and shops (source). In fact, slips, trips and falls remain the single most common cause of non-fatal injuries in the workplace (source).
Water remains a key driver of slip incidents, whether it creeps out from beneath refrigeration gondolas in grocery store shopping aisles or from underneath freezers (source), for example caused by broken or defective (source) equipment, or is dragged into stores from inclement weather. Even if using high-traction or absorbent matting to counter the latter, they can become saturated and lead to water leaking out to surrounding areas that then become wet and pose slip risks.
Research has also shown that a number of slip and trip incidents result directly from customers failing to report items that they have dropped (source). In doing so, they cause a liquid spill as fluid, whether milk, water or whatever leaks, or floods out of the damaged or broken container. In addition, condensation that typically collects on cold surfaces, for example refrigeration gondolas or freezers, also represents a risk as it can collect over time and leak water onto floors.
What is evident is that slips and trips, driven by leaks and wet floors, can happen anywhere and at any time in a working environment, which exposes staff and customers alike to both a serious and common risk (source). However, the literature, including that published by the Health and Safety Executive, primarily focuses upon taking preventative measures, but how do you prevent these instances from occurring in the first place (source)?
Furthermore, respective preventative measures predominantly rely on humans. However, and quite ironically, research from the Health and Safety Executive also highlighted that humans have a poor perception of risk, which was found to be both a common and contributory factor that preceded related incidents (source).
Then we have the operational challenges of using humans for the effective and efficient detection of leaks, which are the primary cause of slip and trip incidents. For example, consider a supermarket environment. Attempting to spot a clear liquid on a shiny floor at distance from eye level can prove to be extremely difficult. In addition, there is the probability of a member of staff being in the right place at the right time should a leak occur, so that they can provide an effective reporting system, which is simply not realistic. The only other alternative is to stand a human on the end of every aisle, a potential solution that is simply cost prohibitive.
The key to solving this conundrum is to use an effective leak detection and reporting system that uses electronic eyes, or CCTV, as opposed to human eyes; SpillDetect.
Irrespective of the source of leaks, the need to detect and report them efficiently remains fundamental to managing down the risk that they present. In doing so, facilities management teams can take swift action, so that they remove the slip risk by dealing with wet flooring and, where appropriate, identify the root cause of the leak.
Developed using proprietary AI-based software that incorporates patent pending technology, SpillDetect gives facilities management teams what they need to rapidly deal with slip risks through the real-time identification and notification of leaks and spillages. Offering a low cost, low bandwidth automated solution SpillDetect provides organisations that wish to take pre-emptive action with dashboard reporting, along with a full audit trail of events and subsequent clean-up, integrated into the system. This gives businesses and organisations access to meaningful metrics for the first time, which can be used to develop KPIs and manage down risk by achieving consistency across teams, from store to store and region by region.
Not only does SpillDetect provide a mechanism by which companies can differentiate themselves by becoming the safest place to work and shop through facilitating action that prevents harm, it also provides a frontline defence against personal injury claims. Furthermore, by taking pre-emptive action that can help reduce the number of slip injuries, organisations may significantly reduce employer’s’ insurance and legal costs (source) driven by law firms that actively target related claimants (source). Note that damages awarded for slip and trip claims can typically amount to over $1.3m per incident (source), pending severity of the injury.
Quite ironically, research has shown how the incorrect clean-up of leak and spill events often leads to people slipping (source). Organisations therefore need to pay particular attention to how they deal with liquid discharges, whether water leaks, detergent spills in dish soap aisles and to the type of liquid causing the risk.
For example, using a wet mop to deal with a water leak may actually increase the area of wet flooring, which is the primary risk that drives related slip incidents (source). Note that people rarely slip on clean dry floors and almost all slips occur as a result of wet or dirty floors, typically those contaminated with water, oil and other liquids (source). Organisations therefore need to have the processes in place to deal efficiently and effectively with water leaks. For example, using absorbent mops to suck up water as opposed to simply thinning out and increasing the surface area of contamination through using a normal mop and bucket.
AI modelling software, which comes built upon existing CCTV networks and trained using thousands of images, provides reliable and automatic ‘detection’ of leaks, without the need for additional on-site hardware. By providing real-time alerts, whether through announcements, email, SMS or other integrations, SpillDetect delivers notifications that completely dovetail ‘operation’ of this proprietary leak detection system into any operational environment, so that it facilitates immediate action and enables support teams to efficiently and effectively mitigate related risks.
Furthermore, full audit trails come built into the included dashboard as standard and provide senior management with the data, reporting and the high-level overview that they need to start building business ‘process’, which is critical for consistent and ongoing risk management. Through understanding response times of their teams to leaks and spill events, senior management can begin to correlate clean-up times to the number and size of respective pay-outs, and develop resulting risk profiles. These in turn may be used to craft KPIs for managing related risk exposure downwards, which holds the key to achieving consistency across the entirety of their respective organisations.
Why not Contact Us now to see how we can help you solve your Health & Safety challenges through deploying low cost, low bandwidth AI software solutions over your existing CCTV networks that improve your bottom line?