More than three million food service workers are injured each year due to work-related slip-and-fall accidents. This startling fact revealed by the National Floor Safety Institute (NFSI) is one of the reasons why Kaivac, Inc. introduced a series of Restaurant Safety Tips to help keep your staff and patrons safe.
According to Russell Kendzoir, Founder and President of the NSFI, a key reason why this number is so high is polymerization. This refers to the thin coating of grease, soil and even cleaning chemicals that develops on kitchen floors over time. Unfortunately, what Kendzoir termed "old-fashioned" floor cleaning methods — specifically mops and buckets — are simply not effective for cleaning polymerized floors. "They actually [can make] the floor more slippery," Kendzoir explains.
It's easy to understand how grease and soiling could make floors slippery — but how do cleaning chemicals contribute to this problem?
According to Kendzoir, many of the chemicals used to clean kitchen floors are designed to bond, or "emulsify," with the grease and oil that can build up on floors. This creates a wax-like film that actually increases the likelihood of a slip-and-fall accident.
So what does he suggest for removing polymerization and making kitchen floors safer? Avoid mopping floors. Instead, Kendzoir recommends selecting NSFI-certified floor cleaning systems such as a spray-and-vac cleaning system or a crossover cleaning system that utilizes high performance vacuum technology for thorough soil removal.
Crossover cleaning systems dispense fresh cleaning solution directly onto floors. A light brushing, if necessary, is performed to loosen soils. Using a wet/vac add-on, moisture and soils are vacuumed up.
Both methods help remove the chemical residue left on floors, along with grease and soil, making them safer and cleaner and minimizing the possibility of a slip-and-fall accident.