spotlight / Maintenance Matters
HAVE YOU NOTICED YOUR
FLOOR MATS LATELY?
Woe the lowly floor mat. It is innocuous; we typically do not give it
much thought and we walk all over it all the time. Even the term has a
derogatory meaning. Notwithstanding this image problem, floor mats
are an important part of facility safety programs that have proven to
be beneficial in minimizing slips and falls on hard surface entrance
CLEANING: Walk off mats can
either be kept on the floor permanently or only placed on the floor
during periods of inclement weather. To be effective, carpeted entrance
mats need to be frequently inspected during extended periods of inclement weather or the carpet may
become saturated so that it will no
longer remove water—actually becoming a source the cause of a slip.
STORAGE: Another mainte-
nance consideration for entrance
mats is how they are stored when
they are not in use. One of the most
common mistakes is folding or roll-
ing them for storage. While folding
takes up less space, it also creates
changes in the backing and edges
of the mat that
and raised edges
where the fold
lines cause the
mat to not lay flat
on the floor. If
they are rolled up
with the backing
on the outside,
the ends will tend
to curl up and be-
come a tripping
While any old
floor mat may help control hazard-
ous conditions, the wrong mat may
present more harm than good.
Despite their positive attributes, floor mats can also present a tripping hazard if improperly chosen, installed and maintained. Here are some
considerations for choosing an effective and safe entrance walk off mat.
PLACEMENT: For any mat to be effective, it has to be placed where it
will be needed. An entrance floor mat must not be located too away from the
door, exposing a portion of the very floor to be protected. This means locating the edge of the mat at the door
to prevent a person from stepping
on the floor that’s meant to be covered by the mat.
EDGES: Mat edges should be
tapered to allow for a smooth transition between the mat and the
adjacent floor surface. The height
difference along the edge of the
mat should not present a tripping
WEIGH T: While thin mats may
be less expensive, they are easily displaced by the door, wheeled
carts or just general foot traffic. If
not re-laid flat, they become a tripping hazard to other pedestrians walking into or out of the building. Mats
need to be heavy and stable enough so they will lay flat on the floor and have
the backing constructed of a material that will not slide on the floor.
SIZE: To be effective and provide the maximum benefits of removing water from shoes, floor mats must be large enough to be stepped on at least
once, with each foot, before the person steps off onto the floor. To accommodate a full range of people, and their stride lengths, mats need to be a minimum of 6 feet long in the direction of travel. In addition to entrance areas,
other locations where spills might occur—including at water fountains, ice
dispensers, beverage vending machines and in front of elevators—should be
Floor mats can present a tripping hazard if
improperly chosen, installed or maintained.
COMCAST.NET) IS THE
OWNER OF PEREIRA
CHADDS FORD, PA.