While a company may choose to have a Qualified Person on staff to test and rate the traction-resistance of floors, others may seek a third-party to perform this service. Distributors can be a resource to their customers if they train a member of their staff as a Qualified Person or a Certified Walkway Auditor to measure the traction levels of floors within a facility.
Adding this capability makes good business sense for the savvy distributor looking to bring as many value-added services as possible to the clients it serves. 
“That only provides better positioning to the customer as a resource they may need later,” says John Poole, an authorized OSHA outreach trainer. “If distributors can afford it, they too may consider the certified program…to assure everyone that floors are being maintained safely, and to provide documented records for a legal defense should that become necessary.” 
NFSI provides Walkway Auditor Certification Training, which Poole encourages distributors to consider.  This course teaches participants how to use available testing devices to measure floor traction and how to record the results. 
“Cleaning is a whole lot more than mopping a floor,” says Poole. “Becoming more knowledgeable about the cleaning industry processes…is a must. Credentialing is here and it will only become more prevalent in the future.”
However, Johnson says it may not be necessary to have a Qualified Person on staff. Distributors may be able to partner with a certified walkway inspector to provide this service to their clients, he adds. 
“It speaks very strongly to have a third-party come out and do the audit as a value-added service,” says Johnson. “It protects them and their clientele, and makes them look like they really care about what they are doing.”
If distributors decide to go that route, Johnson and Poole recommend doing some research: find out the level of training this third-party has had, how long they’ve been performing walkway audits, and how many audits they’ve performed. 
“You will pay as much for a quack as you do an expert. So why not get an expert?” asks Poole. “It will save both time and money.”
Whatever the approach, distributors can play a critical role in OSHA’s new Walking-Working Surfaces ruling. Playing a role that’s front and center in reducing slip and fall accident claims will be a value-added service clients appreciate. If distributors sit back and do nothing, they may be setting building occupants — and themselves — up for a fall.   

Ronnie Garrett is a freelance writer based in Fort Atkinson, Wis. She is a frequent contributor to Sanitary Maintenance. 

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OSHA Floor Audits Require a 'Qualified Person'