When it comes to safety, American businesses are losing out. A report issued in 2012 by insurance company Liberty Mutual showed an alarming statistic: More than $13 billion was lost to accidents related to slips and falls (i). According to another American insurance company, CNA, most slips and falls in commercial settings are the result of improperly maintained floor surfaces. In short, it seems American businesses have much to gain by re-evaluating current floor mat and maintenance strategies.
Fortunately, there is enough variety in the commercial matting industry to enable businesses to select a safety mat— or series of matting products— to meet specific safety needs and budget constraints. There are more than 50 different commercial floor mats available for purchase, each of which falls within one of the following 10 matting categories described below.
10 Essential Types Commercial Safety Mats
One class of commercial floor mats are referred to as Link-design Mats. These mats feature a unique design in which pieces of rubber or vinyl are assembled in a chain-link design that creates a lot of surface texture and grip. Link-designs are known for their ability to remove dirt and debris from shoes, however they provide very little moisture absorption. When using linked mats, consider using additional Wiper Mats (described below) inside the doorway to trap incoming moisture.
Like the Link-design mats mentioned above, Scraper Mats are known for their ability to aggressively clean dirt and debris from shoes. They are similar to Link Mats in that they are best used outdoors, and they are incredibly resilient to variations in temperature and weather.
Unlike Linked-design mats, Scraper Mats are effective in gathering and retaining moisture. Despite this added benefit, many facilities still pair Scraper Mats with Wiper Mats to ensure maximum contaminant control and safety.
Wiper Mats are for use indoors, and many businesses customize these mats with logos and other aesthetic elements. Wiper Mats are known primarily for their ability to absorb and contain moisture (e.g. serving as a place for visitors to wipe their feet). Wiper Mats are available in rubber or vinyl backing for added slip-resistance. Rubber backing is typically available in smooth and cleated varieties, appropriate for use on smooth and carpeted surfaces, respectively.
Cocoa Mats are a newer and more eco-friendly option. These mats are often considered Wiper Mats, however they are made of the husk fibers of naturally grown coconuts. Cocoa Mats also feature an industrial-strength vinyl backing to keep them in place during use. In addition to being eco-friendly, these unique mats are known to have a long lifespan because the husk fibers are incredibly resilient and not easily damaged by foot traffic.
Recessed Mats are simply entrance mats that are installed within a recess in the floor of the entryway. This type of commercial matting installation is particularly popular among facilities that receive a high volume of visitor traffic, because the recess enables the mat to lie flush with the ground. This greatly reduces tripping hazard while also improving entryway aesthetics and interior design.
Recessed Carpet Tiles
Recessed Carpet Tiles are similar to the Recessed Mats described above. Like Recessed Mats, Carpet Tiles are installed within a recess in the floor and likewise present a minimal tripping hazard for businesses that welcome a great degree of visitor flow. Unlike Mats, Recessed Carpet Tiles are modular in nature and are pieced together to create a tiled look. Despite being tiled, Carpet Tiles deliver a high degree of dirt, debris, and moisture control. Many facilities also prefer Recessed Carpet Tiles for their eye-catching geometric design.
Recessed Grills are an industrial-grade solution for commercial facilities that experience a high volume of visitors, incoming debris, and moisture. These systems feature a grated surface that aggressively cleans and channels debris/moisture into an underlying compartment. The compartment traps dirt, debris, liquid, and other contaminents until later cleaned by maintenance.
Recessed Grills like the Pedimat, Pedigrid, and Peditred are particularly popular in the vestibules of office buildings and commercial locations located in snowy climates. The grated surface an underlying recessed makes them ideal for stopping liquid, dirt, and rock salt from entering into the building and creating a serious hazard.
Drainage Mats are typically made of rubber, and they feature either holes or slots through which liquids can easily pass. Such safety mats keep bartenders, cooks, and workers safe in environments where liquid spills occur frequently. These mats quickly channel water toward the floor, keeping the upper most rubber walking surface dry and safe. Some Drainage Mats are also available in Anti-Fatigue varieties to keep employees fresh during working hours (see below).
Anti-fatigue Mats are a unique type of floor mat that features a layered design and core to enable controlled compression during use. As the mats compress, they stimulate the muscles of the fee, legs, and lower back. This triggers more blood flow and promotes feelings of comfort. Statistically, employees report greater satisfaction at workplaces that use Anti-fatigue Mats (also referred to as ergonomic mats).
Regardless of whether or not your place of business uses these mats, there’s a chance you’ve encountered one. Anti-fatigue mats are the “squishy” mats you walk across at most airport security checkpoints. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) uses these mats to keep personnel engaged and alert during long working hours.
Anti-static Mats are specially designed to reduce the risk of static discharge and electrical shock. These mats are most commonly used in computer labs and other office environments where computers, flat screens, and electrostatic discharge (ESD) are common.
Floor Mat Consultation
Eagle Mat and Floor Products proudly represents one of the largest and most comprehensive collections of commercial floor mats available for purchase online. Use the guide above to find the right mats for your facility, or call Client Services for additional assistance at 1-877-333-1018.
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(i) “2010 Workplace Safety Index. Liberty Mutual Research Institute.” Accessed 20 May 2014.