Safety Signs Blog

The dangers of a Wet Floor sign

30th March 2011 | Warning Signs

Posted by David Arnold

The simple premise of this article hinges on the theory that wet floors may actually be safer to walk over if they did not have a yellow Caution Wet Floor self standing sign in the way. This is a thought that this author has often considered, usually when walking into the toilets of the local pub or restaurant, where clumsiness and carelessness often go hand in hand with the consumption of alcohol!

The truth is anyone who fails to notice the yellow wet floor signs could easily trip over this temporary, often unexpected sign - potentially leaving them injured as well as embarrassed. Should this happen the company that has put it there may well leave themselves open to a claim from the injured party. If this is the case that company will no doubt wish they had not bothered trying to warn of these dangers.

So why do companies use Wet Floor signs at all?

The HSE state that in one year slips, trips and falls resulted in 40 fatalities, 15,000 major injuries to workers and well as over 30,000 workers having to take over three days off work.

In addition to the tragic human cost, preventable slips, trips and falls have a serious financial impact on the UK. The HSE estimates that the combined financial costs incurred by society as a whole is around £800million a year, at a time when both businesses and individuals are struggling financially.

With so many people suffering serious injury and the UK’s economy feeling the strain, there are predictably thousands of compensation claims a year against those that are deemed to be responsible.

The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1992 give claimants all the tools they need to pursue any such compensation claims. These Regulations state that if hazards or obstacles cannot be removed then they should be clearly marked. As is the case with permanent hazards like Asbestos, Cables overhead, Open pits or battery charging, so these Regulations also apply to temporary hazards like wet paint or wet floors. In this particular case, a wet floor is a temporary hazard that poses a danger to anyone that comes near it. Failure to warn of it leaves the responsible person exposed legally.

In this regard, whether the warning sign itself poses a danger is immaterial. The unknown and often unseen risks of a wet floor must be marked. As for the sign marking it, well it is big, bright yellow and unarguably highly visible. Trying to claim compensation for tripping over such an obvious obstacle is far less likely to succeed than a claim for slipping on an unmarked wet floor.



Add £50 for free Standard shipping

Customer Feedback:

Safety Signs products and graphics © 2009 Viking Signs Ltd. eCommerce website © 2009 Mew Media Ltd.