How to prevent slip and fall accidents near the toilet or shower, at home, in the office, or at your business.
Slipping and tripping are common misfortunes a person may face when walking on a wet bathroom floor at home, or a damp toilet. Especially in Malaysia, where water from the shower or hose seems to splatter everywhere and take time to dry in our humid weather. While a fall is easy to recover from for some, toilet slip and fall accidents are more dangerous than you might think.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), around 646,000 individuals die from slip and fall accidents globally. Adults aged 65 and above make up the greatest number of these fatal falls.
A 2018 study by the Malaysian Journal of Public Health Medicine found that 45% of hospital visits from the elderly are a result of slip and falls at home.
Even if bathroom mishaps might not result in death, a slip near the toilet may lead to a miscarriage!
Findings from The Maternal and Child Health Journal found that 27% mothers surveyed had slipped and fell during pregnancy. Among them, 35 percent reported falling two or more times. 1.5% resulted in premature labor or delivery.
To prevent you or your loved ones from a bathroom slip and fall accident, you could take these preventative measures at home.
1. Install handrails near the toilet or shower
When you’re older, or pregnant, you might find that your balance is a little shifted. This is either due to a pre-existing medical condition- like weakened knees- or a growing person in your belly. Having a handrail installed near the toilet or shower area would be helpful in providing the walking assistance in a small space. Bear in mind that the sink, toilet paper dispenser or towel rack does not substitute a good handrail. They just aren’t designed to support the weight of a person gripping in need of walking assistance.
Toilet handrails, however, don’t exactly solve the issue of the flooring itself being wet and slippery.
2. Use an old clothes drying mat (with caution)
A common practice in the Malaysian household is to repurpose old t-shirts or towels as drying mats. It’s a quick and eco-friendly solution that reuses worn cloth that would have been thrown away.
Some of our drying mats might even have been made from your grandma.
For extra slip security, you could even use one of those rubber weighted mats that grip the mat to the floor.
But this might not be as safe of an option as you might think. For one, if the floor is wet, the mat is probably already drenched along with it. You only need to go to your nearest cafe or restaurant and observe how the weighted rubber mats outside their toilets still slip around the floor.
Not to mention, this method also doesn’t prevent the bathroom flooring from being wet.
3. Use Anti-Slip Tape or Mats on your bathroom floors
To tackle the wet and slippery bathroom floor, maybe you could use anti-slip tapes or mats. These two anti-slip products function the same way by creating bevels on the floor for the user to walk safely about.
Anti-slip mats create bevelled rings on the floor that raises you from the wet floor.
Anti-slip tapes are water-resistant adhesives that create ridges on the floor.
While this method might be a good DIY way to slip-proof your shower or toilet, they aren’t good for long term prevention. The space between the anti-slip mat and the floor, for example, is still wet. This still body of water may get contaminated overtime with mould and bacteria. In high foot traffic spaces, anti-slip tape materials may lift to become slip and fall hazards of their own.
4. Coat your toilet floor with an epoxy coating
Okay, so what if you coated the floor with epoxy? Epoxy is a coating material used on the floors of public washrooms, carparks, and hospitals. It is a cheap long-term solution that keeps the flooring dry and waterproof on top of being anti-slip- but it… looks a bit like the surface of a swimming pool.
Do you really want your home’s bathroom or business’ toilet looking like a carpark?
5. Use Nano-G’s Anti-Slip Floor Coating service for your bathroom or washroom tiles
You paid good money to install your tiles, you should be able to see them too!
What you need is a coating option that creates micro-grains on your flooring that doesn’t mess with the tile designs that you like.
Nano-G’s anti-slip floor coating service ensures that your toilet or shower areas will be slip proof in a matter of 24 hours. Unlike the epoxy alternative, this anti-slip coating won’t change the appearance of the floor. Instead, it works by glossing over a transparent, rough layer on your tiles.