Tis the Season for Slip, Trip & Fall Claims

Wetter weather increases chances for costly accidents

WILMINGTON, MA () - With the moisture-packed winter season approaching, the potential for slip, trip, and fall accidents will increase significantly. And that's chilling news for business owners who, according to the National Safety Council, spend $70 billion annually in worker compensation and medical claims as a result of customer and employee slips, trips, and falls.

The "first line of defense" business owners should establish to avoid such unnecessary expenses, says Russell J. Kendzior, founder and president of the National Floor Safety Institute and author of Slip and Fall Prevention Made Easy, is to place proper floor mats near the outside and inside of all business entranceways.

"A matting system that uses scraper mats outside entranceways and walk-offs just inside of them can prevent most soiling and moisture from entering a facility, and reduce or eliminate the potential for slip, trip, and fall accidents," Kendzior says.

Not just any type of floor mat will do, however. Kendzior says for floor mats to be truly effective they must be constructed to lay flat, have high-traction surfaces, be manufactured with slip-resistant backing and, most importantly, be regularly cleaned and maintained so that they always retain their effectiveness.

Industry studies show that more than one pound of dirt can accumulate in one square yard of industrial matting in just a single week. "That means if your mats aren't regularly deep-cleaned, they become a source of tracked-in soiling and not a barrier to it," says Adam Soreff, Director of Marketing for UniFirst, a work uniform and facility products provider to businesses throughout North America. "Most businesses don't have the proper equipment and trained staff to clean mats effectively. For safety sake, such businesses should turn to suppliers like UniFirst to provide such services on a regularly scheduled basis."

The bottom line: To take a big step toward preventing costly injury claims this winter season, business owners should put a properly maintained matting system in place near all their entranceways.

About UniFirst

UniFirst (NYSE: UNF), a North American leader in the supply and servicing of uniforms, workwear, and protective clothing, outfits more than 1.5 million workers each business day. The company's most popular brands include UniWeave®, SofTwill®, UniWear®, and Armorex FR®. UniFirst also offers Facility Service Programs including floor mats, mops, and restroom products. For more information, contact UniFirst at 800-455-7654 or visit www.unifirst.com.

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