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Grocery store professionals know spills that can cause a slip and fall accident happen all the time. Very often, these are the result of breakable liquid items falling on the floor. 

However, there are several ways moisture can find its way onto grocery store floors. According to Matt Morrison, communications manager for Kaivac, among the most common are the following: 

- Leaking refrigeration equipment

- Melting snow and ice during the winter season

- Cranky children spilling drinks

- Moisture build-up from produce misters 

- Water-line leaks to these misters. 

Grocery stores should also know that spills can be costly. The National Floor Safety Institute, which tracks slip and fall accidents in the U.S., reports the following:   

- Slips account for over one million hospital emergency room visits each year.

- Slips and falls are the primary cause of lost workdays.

- Slips and falls are the leading cause of workers’ compensation claims.

- Compensation and medical costs for employee slip and falls is more than $70 billion annually.

- Legal fees defending against slip and fall claims cost an average of $50,000 per incident. 

While grocery stores may not be able to prevent spills and moisture from getting on grocery store floors, steps can be taken to clean them up quickly to help prevent accidents. Consider these tips:

- Place warning cones around the immediate spill area and as much as 10 feet from the incident, giving shoppers ample heads up.

- Before picking up glass or debris, staff must wear work gloves designed to protect hands from broken glass.

- Workers should not wear dress shoes; many spills contain oils that can cause the soles of dress shoes to become very slippery.

-Avoid using mops; mops spread oil, debris, and moisture to a larger floor area, which can increase the chances for slips and falls to occur.

- Alternatives to mops include battery-powered “dispense-and-vac” or “uni-vac” systems designed to apply fresh cleaning solution to spill areas and then vacuum up the spill, soils, solution and moisture.

- Leave warning cones around the immediate spill area for 10 minutes to ensure the area is now clean and dry.