A Guide by NFSI
In June 2012, the National Floor Safety Institute published the B101.6 Standard Guide for Commercial Entrance Matting in Reducing Slips, Trips and Falls. And while the title is long, the main takeaway is quite short: Entryways are safer when floors are properly covered.
The B101.6 set of standards is intended to help property owners select, install, and maintain entrance mats and runners in the most effective way possible. This results in cost-effective investments that keep facilities clean, dry, and safe during operations. In return, commercial facilities are primed to realize a decrease in both the risk of accidental slips/falls as well as decreased risk of serious health issues among occupants (after all, moist floors lead to hazardous mildew).
Download The PDF: Download your copy of the B101.6 Standard Guide for Commercial Entrance Matting in Reducing Slips, Trips and Falls report.
Section 1: Scope, Application, Purpose, and Exceptions
Section 1 provides a comprehensive overview of the primary scope, application, purpose, and expectations forwarded by the B101.6 standards. The section very clearly describes its purpose, which is to provide standards on which property owners can rely when selecting, installing, and maintaining entrance mats for the purpose of preventing slip and fall accidents.
Section 2: References
Next, section 2 presents a brief list of other standards with which commercial property owners should be familiar. Having a broad understanding of these standards not only helps to interpret the document at hand, but it also sheds light on other specific safety standards, including:
- Standards for providing slip resistance on walkways
- Environmental facility safety signs
- Safety tags and barricade tapes
Section 3: Definitions
This section provides a glossary of important terms that add context to the safety standards as a whole. Some definitions are straight forward, like absorption. Others, like foot grille, might be less obvious to individuals who do not own and/or operate heavily trafficked commercial facilities. Take a moment to browse this section, and reference it when uncertain about specific terms.
Section 4: Function and Application
Perhaps the most important section, this part of the standards guide provides a detailed list of the primary functions to be performed by an entrance mat or runner. They include:
Safety: Entrance mats are to reduce slipping and/or tripping hazards by keeping floors clean and dry.
Protection: Matting is to protect floors from the wear and tear associated with continual visitor foot traffic.
Improving Indoor Air Quality (IAQ): Mats are to trap and contain incoming pollutants, thereby reducing circulation and contamination throughout the building.
Section 5: Matting Selection & Installation
Next, it is advised the entrance mats and floor runners be selected based on the area in which they will be placed. The most common areas that call for special consideration include:
Outdoor areas: Recommended loose scraper mat, wiper mat, or recessed (fixed) well mat/ foot grille.
Vestibules: Vestibule matting varies depending on the mats used outdoors. If a scraper mat is being used outside, then the vestibule mat should be a wiper model. If there is no scraper outside, then a scraper mat and/or scraper-wiper matting should be used within the vestibule.
Indoors: Similar to vestibules, indoor mats should be either a scraper-wiper combination (when no mat is outside) or wiper mat (when a scraper is already being used outdoors).
Section 6: Criteria for Determining Adequacy of Matting
This section lists specific considerations that assist in finding the ideal type of mat, given location and performance needs.
Section 7: Care and Maintenance
This section provides excellent care and maintenance tips for entrance mats and runners, itemized by floor mat type.
Section 8: Reduction of Hazards
Finally, the safety standards guide wraps up with an excellent section on reducing matting-related hazards. This is vital, because failure to address these common issues may actually increase tripping hazards and on-site accidents. Specifics topics that are addressed include:
- Improper matting use
- Ripped, curled, or torn edges
- Delamination/ holes in mats
- Wet conditions
- Floor conditions
- Minimizing mat movement
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