Commercial Floor Mats
 
   
 
 
 
 
Multipurpose Floor Mats There's a floor mat for every purpose – including soaking up grease, like the mat in this photo.
 
 
 

Best Practices for Floor Mats

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is a federal regulatory agency under the Department of Labor tasked with developing safety and health policies in the workplace, providing training and education on these standards and enforcing them. Maintaining the safety of walking and working surfaces and preventing slip, trip and fall (STF) accidents at work is just one of the areas closely policed by OSHA.

Getting down to brass tacks, the OSHA standardsin permanent places of employment are as follows:

1910.22(a)(2)

OSHA requires that the floor of every workroom shall be maintained in a clean and, so far as possible, a dry condition. Where wet processes are used, drainage shall be maintained and false floors, platforms, mats, or other dry standing places should be provided where practicable.

While it's important to note that as many as half of the nation's states have developed their own standards with regard to floor safety and STF accidents, most of these mirror OSHA's regulations and enforcement policies.

Commercial floor mats are the most effective tool against slip, trip and fall STF) accidents when placed and maintained properly. Trapping water and waste below foot traffic keeps employees upright, locking in friction and stability.

What and Where?

  • Place all-weather floor mats at building entrances. Removing moisture and soil not only reduces possibility of slips, it protects the floor surface from incidental wear and tear. The quality of an entrance mat is of particular importance. A high quality, all-weather mat will provide safety in adverse weather conditions while inferior products will not absorb properly, actually contributing to rather than preventing slip and fall accidents, and will not provide long-lasting durability.

  • Place water-absorbent mats where water, ice, soap, grease or other debris may drip onto the floor (i.e. coffee bars, water fountains, machinery process areas). Mats in these areas should be selected for absorption and containment properties to eliminate slip accidents as well as preserve hygiene by preventing the spread of unsanitary debris.

  • Provide additional mats in entrances during winter months and when it rains.

Don't Forget!

  • Make sure your mat is the right size. Mats should be large enough to accommodate several footsteps (a minimum of 8-10 steps in rainy weather is a good rule). Water around your mat is a good indication that it's not large enough or that it has become saturated.

  • Secure mats from moving. A mat in motion could cause more accidents than it prevents and could present serious legal liability. A court in Illinois recently found a hospital negligent for critical injuries sustained by a physician who tripped over a folded floor mat.

  • Use beveled-edge, and continuous or interlocking mats.

  • Always replace mats that are curled, ripped, or worn.

Anti-Fatigue and Ergonomic Concerns

Even in areas where STF accidents are not the issue, mats should be provided for the comfort and overall health of employees. According to The National Institute for Occupational Safety, back injuries and disorders affect more than 600,000 US workers. Many of these instances are the result of progressive injuries sustained over time, replica watches and not the result of a single, identifiable accident. One of the contributing factors for these "microtraumas" is poor footing on slick floors or strained posture, as a result of improper footing, contributing to muscle strain, musculosketal weakness and deterioration of vertebrae and discs. The cost of these injuries is high for both American workers and their employers – estimated by NIOSH at $50 billion per year over a decade ago. The cost is only rising.

Commercially available anti-fatigue floor mats, advocated for by OSHA's federal ergonomics program, reduce foot stress, improve circulation, and relieve replica watches muscle tension. Preventing injuries associated with standing too long on hard, unyielding floors directly diminishes the associated sick day and medical costs.

OSHA recommends anti-fatigue flooring in:

  • Hospitals, schools and other public safety institutions where long hours of standing could contribute to muscle tension and poor circulation

  • Industrial production and storage facilities where weight load, drainage issues and repetitive motion lead to chronic pain

  • Restaurants and commercial kitchens where servers walk a matter of miles in a single shift

  • Retail, such as grocery stores, where clerks or cashiers who stand for hours could benefit from textured anti-fatigue floor mats with bristled tops for improved circulation