Slips and falls are leading causes of workplace injuries.
So, what is it that is causing employees to slip and fall?
Slips result when there is not enough friction between a person’s footwear and the floor surface—the low friction is often times a result of contaminants such as dirt, water, grease and other debris being tracked in from outside. It’s estimated that 80 percent of contaminants are tracked in through front doors, or other employee entrances. The good news is that with a proper matting system in place you can stop most of these contaminants at the door.
It’s kind of like a welcome mat
We have all seen them— a mat outside an entrance that prompts you to wipe your feet before stepping inside. A good matting system includes a “scraper mat” outside the door so that employees can scrape shoes clean of dirt, debris and moisture. The outdoor scraper mat should be rigid, or made of a coarse material capable of loosening dirt and debris—such as gauge lopped vinyl. In line with the Carpet & Rug Institute (CRI) recommendations, we believe the scraper mat should be between 12- to 15-feet to effectively remove 90 percent of the contaminants.
It’s kind of like a thicker bathmat
The interior “wiper mat” will typically have a carpet top and is capable of absorbing moisture and any remaining debris before transitioning to the actual floor surface. Wiper mats can and should be used in other high risk areas of a facility such as kitchen areas, areas around ice machines and transitional areas. Examples of a transition area would be from the restroom to the hallway, or walkways leading to and or from the kitchen or dishwashing areas.
For mats to be effective they need to be cleaned and maintained. They should be slip resistant, and have no ripples or curls. Depending on your operation you may choose to maintain your mats internally, or you may decide to contract with an outside vendor, either way it is important to inspect your mats regularly to make sure they are in good condition.
If you have further questions, or need assistance with establishing a matting system for your workplace, please contact ICW Group’s Risk Management Services, we are happy to assist you.