Since 1990, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) has set the foundation for equality in public and private workplaces, ensuring a safe and accessible work environment for all Americans. There are about 54 million Americans who have a disability, according to the latest figures gathered by the United States Census Bureau. That accounts for about 19% of the civilian, non-institutionalized population, a significant subset with whom businesses are wise to give thoughtful consideration.
In addition to being strong contributors to the American workforce, individuals with disabilities are also actively engaged in public transportation, shopping, and other public outings. The Census Bureau also reports that an astounding 98% of all public transit vehicles (buses) have been retrofitted with lifts and/or ramps as of 2007, a fact that demonstrates both a rising rate of travel and need for increased accessibility throughout the community.
Facility Management with ADA in Mind
Taking an “accessible” approach to facility management not only protects businesses from Federal fines, it also opens the doors to valuable business with some 50 million or more Americans who suffer with a disability.
3 Tips for ADA Compliancy
To ensure ADA compliancy and maximum accessibility, consider the following tips when performing safety risk assessments and purchasing safety products, like indoor and outdoor commercial matting.
Reduce the Risk of Accidents with Low Profile Mats
Choosing low-profile mats does not need to mean sacrificing performance. There are a variety of low-profile mats that are highly effective in cleaning shoes, enhancing traction, and reducing the incidence of slip and fall accidents. Moreover, low-profile mats typically feature a skid-proof rubber backing (see below).
When retrofitting facilities with safety products like floor mats, it’s important to consider the use of low-profile mats for several reasons. First, low-profile mats are easier to traverse for individuals who rely on wheelchairs, walkers, canes, and other mobility devices. Second, low-profile matting lies closer to the ground and thus provides a lower trip-and-fall risk for all individuals. Moreover, these mats can be customized with vibrant logos, bright colors, and other custom designs that make them easier to walk across.
Improve Traction with Anti-slip Matting
Low-profile ADA compliant matting is typically available with slip-proof rubber backing. Industry leading products are made with 100% Nitrile rubber, a standard for both durability and traction. This is an important consideration for business/ risk managers, because it means that safety can be significantly improved in areas that experience the collection of water, dirt, or other debris. Without these mats, such debris can become a dangerous hazard. And without slip-resistant rubber backing, even the most heavily textured and absorbent mats would shift and add to the already high risk associated with entryways, lobbies, reception areas, and other heavily trafficked areas of the facility.
For additional tips, visit this article on reasons to choose ADA compliant floor mats.
Eagle Mat and Floor Products: Celebrating 30+ Years of Excellence
Eagle Mat and Floor Products proudly celebrates more than 30 years of commercial matting and safety product consultation, rental, and sales. Based out of Rockville, Maryland, the company now offers an extensive collection of safety mats, elevator pads, handrails/ wall protection, crowd control, and other products designed to improve facility safety and functionality. All products now ship internationally and are available to browse and purchase on Eaglemat.com.
Call for Consultation
Readers are invited to call Eagle Mat and Floor Products for complimentary consultation at 1-877-333-1018. Requests for product information, specifications, and availability can also be made via the Eagle Mat Contact Us page online.