Its very important to have wet floor signs around your business. Without them, you are exposed to liability. OSHA sets these requirements in place and makes the placement of wet floor signs mandatory for all businesses. You'll notice that when you enter into a 7/11 there are wet floor signs on every isle, even if the floor is not wet. The reason companies do this because they are too lazy to pick up and clean the spills so they just have them out all the time for precautionary reasons. One may think this is the best way to go but it's not. There has actually been lawsuits against businesses because the victim claimed they "didn't notice the wet floor signs" because they are always there. After going to court, the defendant asked the business to pull video surveillance of the store in attempt to claim that the wet floor signs were always there emphasizing that the wet floor signs were "part of the store" and not out as a precaution.
Another valid point to bring up is the history of wet floor signs. Years ago, maybe 20 or 30, there was an explosion in the market for A-Frame wet floor signs. Wet floor signs then became available in every size that had different pictographs, languages, and even colors. Then years after, a new product came to market which was is commonly known as a wet floor cone. The wet floor cone had the presumption that it was more noticeable than traditional wet floor signs because of the height. Wet floor cones are also considered to be more durable than traditional A-Frame wet floor signs because of the shape of the square base. A common problem businesses became facing were that customers were ignoring the wet floor signs and injuries started to increase. The introduction of the wet floor cone helped reduce liability and provided a warning message that was higher than the traditional height of 24inches for the wet floor sign A-Frame. Businesses started to invest in the wet floor cones and accident reduction rates decreased.
Years later, now in 2014, the wet floor signs and wet floor cones have turned themselves into a commodity. What was once a more affective warning message (being a 36inch cone vs 24inch A-Frame wet floor sign) has steadily decreasing. There has been a need for a taller cone, a brighter cone, a cone that has sensors relaying a voice message of "CAUTION WET FLOOR", and cones with lights. All of this in an attempt to solve a problem which is to help reduce liability. The OSHA requirements remain the same, yellow with black lettering, but the've become so common that people don't even notice them anymore. So ask yourself, what's the point of a wet floor sign if people don't even notice them? Is it simply to be compliant with OSHA and protect your business from a lawsuit? We'd all hope that businesses care about the safety of their customers but how can they find a way to deliver the warning message to the customer? The customers perceptions of wet floor signs and wet floor cones have changed, so should your warning message?
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