Stripping and Waxing Floors

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When stripping and waxing floors, the risk of injuries can be greatly reduced or eliminated by taking appropriate safety precautions.  It can be achieved by becoming familiar with the potential hazards, taking steps to prevent injuries, and using proper personal protective equipment.

What is Floor Stripping?

Floor Stripping is the process of removing past layers of wax, dirt, debris and finish from a hard floor in- order to add a new finish.  Floor stripping and waxing is a necessary task for good housekeeping but poses some potential safety risks that must be taken into consideration.

What are the Safety Hazards?

  • Damaged and/or malfunctioning equipment.
  • Contact with or inhalation of wax finishes.
  • Slips and falls.
  • Strains from lifting and moving furniture.

Slips Trips and Falls are a leading cause of all workplace accidents and the second leading cause of accidental deaths. Employees who perform floor stripping and waxing are exposed to many fall hazards including wet floors and debris.

How Can Injuries Be Prevented?

  • Check all equipment for damage to ensure it is in proper working order.
  • Do not use damaged equipment.
  • Read all warnings and follow the equipment manufacturer directions.
  • Open windows and doors in the area to provide adequate ventilation.
  • Read all warnings and follow directions on the waxes/finishes.
  • Know the location of Safety Data Sheets.
  • Block off the area from unwanted pedestrian traffic.
  • Wear slip resistant shoes, gloves, and eye protection.
  • Place “wet floor” or “caution” signs where clearly visible.
  • Get help when moving furniture or larger items.
  • Lift with your legs, not your back.
  • Do not take shortcuts.
  • Use personal protective equipment (PPE).
  • Know the location of your PPE.
  • Inspect PPE for damage.
  • Do not use damaged PPE.
  • Examples of necessary PPE:
    • Gloves;
    • Slip resistant shoes;
    • Goggles or safety glasses;
    • Masks.


KEMI does not assume liability for the content of information contained herein. Safety and health remain your responsibility. This information is to be used for informational purposes only and not intended to be exhaustive or a substitute for proper training, supervision or manufacturers’ instructions/recommendations. KEMI, by publication of this information, does not assume liability for damage or injury arising from reliance upon it. Compliance with this information is not a guarantee or warranty that you will be in conformity with any laws or regulations nor does it ensure the absolute safety of any person, place or object, including, but not limited to, you, your occupation, employees, customers or place of business.