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Wet floors a constant threat to injury in California

Think of all the ways we can encounter wet floors in our daily lives.

The ace cleaning crew in your office just cleaned the restroom floor to make it sparkly and germ-free. It can take a while to dry, though.

Walking down the aisle of the grocery store, the shopper in front of you dropped the jar of pickles he was trying to put in his cart. A large jar. Pickle brine all over the floor.

We don't get a ton of rain in California, but water brought in on shoes doesn't mix with the linoleum flooring of the big box floor.

Any of these scenarios – and dozens more – represent a danger of a slip-and-fall incident. And that can cause serious injuries.

Therefore, it is incumbent on store managers, cleaning crews and property owners to notify anyone who will be in their spaces of wet floors. The proper usage of wet floor signs informs people that a hazard exists and reduces the risk of accidents.

Here are some things that constitute proper notification of a wet floor:

  1. The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) has assigned yellow to the risk of physical hazards, and it's typically the color of signage to mark wet floors.
  2. Icons and images on the sign raise visibility but also work for nonEnglish speakers. The image of a person falling can be understood in any language, even if the words can't. Still, there are times when it is crucial that the words can be read. If a building is used by a number of Spanish speakers, for instance, the signs should have wording in both English and Spanish.
  3. Signs not in use should be easy to reach and near known hazards, such as water fountains, restrooms, ice machines or doors where water can be tracked in. They should be stored out of sight so that there is no confusion when not in use. Property managers must remember to remove the signs when the floor is dry. If they're constantly left out, people won't know when the hazard truly exists.

Californians have the right to expect safe conditions when they enter their workplace or a business; they shouldn't need to fear slipping on a wet floor. If you're injured in a fall because of a wet floor, you're entitled to compensation for any medical expenses you might incur.

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