Good floor mats serve multiple needs
Each of us probably crosses at least one of these every day. Floor mats are a familiar sight at entrances to retail and commercial spaces. But who thinks about them? Daniel Silver, VP Product Development at New Pig Corp, a Tipton, Pennsylvania-based leak-and-spill-management company, and his team do. “We are big mat nerds here,” he said.
Floor mats serve a few important purposes, the first two being safety and cleanliness. Water, snow and ice tracked in on the average hard surface presents a huge risk of slip-and-fall injury. “American businesses pay $11 billion in direct costs for slips, trips and falls, according to the 2017 Liberty Mutual Workplace Safety Index,” Silver quoted. Proper placement of floor mats can help reduce that risk.
Reducing the amount of mud, dirt or other debris traveling into the retail space is also a consideration. And the floor mats need to be durable enough to withstand heavy foot traffic and regular cleaning.
When deciding on floor mats, Silver said, facilities managers should think about the “walk-off” distance—the linear feet of matting required to wick off snowy or wet boots and shoes. “Most places don’t provide enough,” Silver said.
Sidebar: Top 10 Causes and Costs of the Most Disabling U.S. Workplace Injuries, $Billions
source: Liberty mutual workplace safety index
Overexertion involving outside sources $13.7
Falls on same level $11.2
Falls to lower level $5.9
Struck by object or equipment $5.3
Other exertions or bodily reactions $4.2
Roadway incidents involving motorized land vehicle $3.2
Slip or trip without fall $2.3
Caught in or compressed by equipment or objects $2.1
Struck against object or equipment $2.0
Repetitive motions involving microtasks $1.5
Sidebar: What are the best places for floor mats?
Depending on the needs of the store, floor mats can be used in the following locations:
• Entranceways. Absorbent mats indoors and scraper mats outdoors
• Moisture areas. Around moisture-laden areas (water fountains, refrigeration units that produce condensation, produce aisles with misters, etc.)
• Transition areas. Keep public-facing areas clean by positioning mats where back-of-house operations transition
• to front-of-house.
• Restrooms. The right type of mat, like one with an antimicrobial finish, will help control bacteria and reduce odors.
• Workstations. Anti-fatigue matting at workstations helps employees who stand for long periods of time fight fatigue.
• Branding/Messaging. There is a wide range of uses for logo mats, which can be placed anywhere a company wants to make a brand impression. This includes entranceways with a brand logo or welcome message, customer service counters (with an identifier message so the customer knows they are in the right place), or even promotional messages near kiosks or sale areas.
Published: January 31, 2019