Each year thousands of people are injured as a result of slips, trips and falls when entering a building. To prevent potential injury and defend against resulting litigation, most facility executives incorporate entrance carpet matting. But although matting can play a significant role in preventing accidental slips by removing moisture, they can also often contribute to trips and falls when buckled, curled or flipped over.

In 2012, in an effort to reduce this safety hazard, the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) B101 committee on slips, trips and fall prevention, in conjunction with the National Floor Safety Institute (NFSI), released the latest in a line of walkway safety standards: The ANSI/NFSI B101.6-2012 “Standard Guide For Commercial Entrance Matting In Reducing Slips, Trips And Falls.”

This standard provides criteria for the selection, installation, inspection, care and maintenance of entrance mats and runners in commercial facilities. When in compliance with the standard, departments should see a reduction in slip, trip and fall hazards that involve soil, moisture, contaminants, edge treatments, as well as the improper use of floor mats and runners.

Why A Standard?

The development of ANSI/NFSI B101.6 is a direct result of the mission of the NFSI, which is to aid in the prevention of slips, trips and falls through education, research and standards development. It answers a need for education by addressing the effects that the growing number of slips, trips and falls — as a result of insufficient knowledge in the use of mats and runners — have on custodial departments.

“This standard not only covers where and how mats should be deployed, but also identifies the hazards associated with improper mat placement and use,” says Robert J. Moran, chairman of the ANSI B101.6 sub-committee. “We also believe that the standard will soon be adopted by the insurance industry and will serve as an important tool in preventing the growing mat-related slips, trips and falls problem.”

As floor mat-related trip-and-fall lawsuits continue, this industry standard will encourage the proper use, maintenance and inspections for matting. The goal is also to dramatically affect the way facility executives now must maintain, inspect and select entryway floor mats.

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Safety Regulations For Commercial Mats