This case involves an elderly male plaintiff who slipped and broke his hip at a chain fast food location in Mississippi. The slip occurred within an hour of the floor being mopped. The company’s policy manual explicitly stated that the cleaning solution used on the floor must be wiped up after application. An investigation into the chain location revealed that the cleaner was almost always allowed to air-dry rather. Not conducting a dry-mop was a violation of company policy. As a result, it was suspected that coats of cleaner accumulated on the floor causing it to be far more slippery than normal when wet. An expert in restaurant management was sought to address the theory that successive applications of the cleaner can create dangerous conditions if not properly dried.
Question(s) For Expert Witness
- 1. In your experience, is it a standard or best practice to dry mop or otherwise rinse a restaurant floor after a cleaner has been applied? Why?
Expert Witness Response E-071435
Chemicals build up residue over time, and of course, grease is also a major culprit of buildup. Normal chemicals used for mopping only address the normal daily floor buildup. That’s why a degreaser needs to be used nightly to eliminate grease buildup. If the proper mopping with the proper chemicals and degreaser is not performed, over time the floor becomes a greater risk. If a floor is allowed to dry over time, this allows a layer of grease and chemicals to build up. When the floor becomes wet, the problem only worsens. A floor must be mopped until dry (dry-mop). In a restaurant, the floor must be mopped with a degreaser daily to eliminate grease buildup. In any case cases, you should never allow a floor to just air-dry. One another note, a market like Mississippi with high humidity makes floors dry much slower than other environments if it is allowed to simply air dry, causing a false sense of security that the floor is indeed less slippery. Allowing a floor to dry naturally in a humid environment is a slow and dangerous process.