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Reception floors

Floor surfaces should be suitable for the work area. The choice of floor surface or cover will depend on the type of work carried out at the workplace, as well as the materials used during work processes.

Tips

  • Watch where you are walking.
  • Wear appropriate footwear.
  • Maintain good housekeeping.

Potential harm

  • Slips, trips and falls

Identified hazards and controls

Floor surface

Cause

  • Highly polished floors.
  • Plush carpet catching feet.
  • Wet floor.
  • Damaged or uneven floor.
  • Change in level of the floor.

What workers can do

  • Wear safe and practical footwear for the environment that you are in.
  • Report unsafe situations such as slippery or damaged floors.
  • Wipe up small spills.
  • Be aware of changes in floor surfaces, such as from carpet to tiles, or even between different types of carpet used in high traffic areas and work areas.
  • When visiting a different workplace, be aware of your new surroundings.

What employers can do

  • Choose a non-slip floor material or one with a textured surface.
  • If tiled or similar surface, have walk areas abraded or roughened to remove shine.
  • Use short pile carpet to reduce the chance of tripping and to allow delivery trolleys to move easily over carpeted areas.
  • For wet floors:
    • use appropriate signage to warn of slip hazards
    • provide non-slip matting for people to wipe their feet on before entering
    • check that the drainage at entry points can cope with rain events.
  • Change in floor level:
    • where possible, ensure joins are flush with adjoining floor levels and not raised at any point
    • consider extra lighting, floor markings or signage to identify the hazard to people using the area.
  • Damaged floors:
    • repair damaged flooring as soon as possible
    • place appropriate warning signs over damaged areas or remove access to the area until repaired.

Poor housekeeping

Cause

  • Cluttered workspaces.
  • Uncovered cables running across the floor.
  • Deliveries left in workplaces.

What workers can do

  • Maintain good housekeeping yourself and don’t clutter walkways.
  • Report unsafe housekeeping issues.

What employers can do

  • Provide both adequate storage that is off the floor, and designated areas for deliveries.
  • Provide bins for waste disposal.
  • Advise staff of the need to keep walkways clear of obstructions.
  • Remove cables that cross walkways.

Floor furnishings

Cause

  • Rugs and mats not secured.
  • Potential allergies from rug material.
  • Worn out furnishings.

What workers can do

  • Report unsafe items, such as unsecured rugs or trip hazards.
  • When visiting a different workplace, get to know your new surroundings.

What employers can do

  • Ensure rugs and other floor furnishings are clearly visible, have a low profile and rubber backing to reduce the chance of tripping.
  • Use hypo-allergenic rugs and floor furnishings to reduce the risk of allergic reactions.
  • Remove damaged rugs and mats.

More information

Guidance

  • See Ergonomic hazards for more information on physical factors in the environment that may cause musculoskeletal injuries, such as sedentary work and slips, trips and falls, and how to eliminate these hazards.

Legislation

Codes

Page last reviewed: 05 May 2021

Comcare (Office Safety tool)
GPO Box 9905, Canberra, ACT 2601
1300 366 979 | www.comcare.gov.au

Date printed 26 Jun 2022

https://www.comcare.gov.au/office-safety-tool/spaces/reception-areas/reception-floors