Floor Maintenance and Repair
Floor covering contributes to both the attractiveness and the functionality of a building. The appropriate floor covering, from wool carpeting to painted cement, must be selected with functionality as well as attractiveness in mind. Floor covering has the highest use of any part of a building; thus, it must also be maintained if its usefulness is to be continued.
Assuming that the appropriate floor covering was originally installed, the maintenance and repair of the floor covering should:
Reduce dirt and water to preserve the floor covering.
- Increase the useful life of a floor covering.
- Preserve the attractiveness of the floor covering.
Keep the floor covering safe for use.
- Wet floors are a slipping hazard. Loose edges of tile floors become a tripping hazard.
- Loose rugs can slip and create a falling situation.
- Broken tiles can be a tripping hazard.
- Improperly waxed floors can be a slipping hazard.
Eliminate health hazards.
- Mold can build up in wet carpeting.
- Dirt and dust can cause allergic reactions.
- Broken tiles can release asbestos.
When conducting floor maintenance, the following should be done to insure maintenance is not creating a personnel hazard:
- Have the appropriate signs, such as “wet floor,” posted while maintenance is being done.
- Many times hazardous chemicals are used, either as a cleaner or adhesives, in floor maintenance. Whenever hazardous chemicals are used proper personnel protective equipments, such as gloves, respirators and eye protection, must be used.
- The area where the maintenance is being performed should be well ventilated and closed to anyone except maintenance personnel.
- Many floor maintenance activities can be very noisy. Hearing protection should be used.
- Ensure spills are reported and cleaned up immediately.
- Use no-skid waxes and surfaces coated with grit to create non-slip surfaces in slippery areas such as toilet and shower areas.
- Use waterproof footgear to decrease slip/fall hazards when maintaining floor.
- Re-lay or stretch carpets that bulge or have become bunched to prevent tripping hazards.
- Aisles and passageways should be sufficiently wide for easy movement and should be kept clear at all times. Temporary electrical cords that cross aisles should be taped or anchored to the floor.
- Use prudent housekeeping procedures such as cleaning only one side of a passageway at a time, and provide good lighting for all halls and stairwells, to help reduce accidents.
- Eliminate uneven floor surfaces.
From Slips, Trips and Falls, Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA)
American National Standards Institute (ANSI)
American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE)
American Society of Testing and Materials (ASTM)
Floor Maintenance and Repair Checklist
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