Close-up Of Man Cleaning The Floor With Yellow Wet Floor Sign

Many cleaning managers use matting as a way to protect patrons from slips and falls. But other times, matting can actually be the cause of trips and falls. What should managers watch for when it comes to preventing these accidents and how can they protect themselves/facility if an accident does occur?

To help prevent slips and falls caused by matting, facility managers need to first consider who is walking in and out of the facility and if the matting system matches the patrons’ needs. Hospitals, for example, must be mindful about "rollability" for patients in wheel chairs and should avoid matting systems that are raised from the ground level. In this environment, a recessed matting system is typically installed into a recessed pool to keep the mat as level to the floor as possible.
Another way facility managers can help prevent slips and trips caused by matting is to invest and own mats to help ensure a thicker and higher quality matting system that won’t roll up on the edges and cause trips.
— Rochelle Quandt, Market Development Manager, 3M Commercial Solutions

Standard rubber-backed mats are actually notorious for being a cause of trips and falls. This is especially true for rentals that get distressed from aggressive laundering processes and are kept in service for far too long. The edges begin to ripple (we call them “bacon mats”) and they catch feet and cause tripping. The top surfaces also get worn down and lose their traction properties. When you see rippled edges, worn or fuzzy top surfaces, or ripped areas; it’s already past time to replace the mat.
If a fall does occur resulting in injury, immediately notify whatever medical response authority is in your area (possibly a 911 call). Once the injured party is attended to, you need to restrict access to the area where the fall occurred to prevent anyone else from injury. It’s also a good idea to photograph the entire area where the fall occurred to create an accurate record of conditions. If there is video surveillance of the area, secure those records for legal purposes. Finally, interview any employees that may have seen the accident occur and keep careful notes of all responses. Only after all of those things have been done should the area be cleaned, re-evaluated and upgraded for safety.
— Dan Silver, Vice President of Product Development, New Pig

This goes back to the solution of maintaining an ongoing audit of the conditions of the matting. Are the mats in the right place? Is the edge an ADA-compliant safety edge? Do the mats lay flat? Have they been stored properly on a storage core to insure that they will lay flat?
— Mitchell Saltzman, President, Proform

How important are aesthetics (styles, colors, textures, and fibers) when it comes to matting trends and what offerings are all available?

Recently, 3M conducted a study on the importance of aesthetics and found that it is top of mind for many facility managers and a key consideration for purchasing decisions. First impressions are important, and a comprehensive matting system contributes to a facility’s overall appearance and cleanliness.
Additionally, when considering overall aesthetics, it’s important to note that mats don’t have to be black as there are multiple color and pattern options available. Custom cut mats are also an option to provide a cleaner fit and look for unconventional spaces and walkways.
— Rochelle Quandt, Market Development Manager, 3M Commercial Solutions

In a public facing facility, aesthetics are always important. Entrance ways in particular are one of the first impressions a person has of your operation. There are almost limitless options now for colors and textures of carpeted mats. It’s almost always possible to find a color that matches your brand or the design themes of the facility. One thing to keep in mind though is that certain colors have a greater propensity to show dirt or staining. Blended colors are usually better for masking dirt. In no circumstance should the aesthetic value trump the performance of the matting as it relates to safety.
— Dan Silver, Vice President of Product Development, New Pig

Aesthetics are very important. Remember that this is your front entrance and your lobby. It's the first impression made on students, guests, visitors, clients and employees. As the saying goes, "You never get a second chance to make a first impression."
— Mitchell Saltzman, President, Proform

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Benefits Of Incorporating Mats Into Floor Care Programs