How to Choose the Best Industrial Floor Mat (With 4 Common Mistake to Avoid)
Your end goal with industrial floor mats is to reduce slips, trips, and falls.
So which floor mat will do the best job?
The industry is saturated with all kinds of floor mat styles – rubber, cotton, anti-fatigue, sticky (or grippy), oil absorbent… the list goes on.
This article will help you make sense of floor mat selection & placement and review 4 common mistakes that could increase your risk for slips and falls.
- Why Floor Mats are Critical to your Bottom Line
- Floor Mats Selection & Placement
- Floor Mat Styles
- 4 Common Mistakes that Could Increase your Slip Incidents
Floor Mat Selection and Placement
Choosing the right floor mat requires an understanding of:
- Location (shop floor, main entrance, etc.)
- Surface (carpet or flat), and
- Application (will it track oil, dirt, water, rocks, etc.)
The right type of floor mat in the right location can make a huge difference in protecting your floors, and most important – your people.
To the right is an illustration of ITU AbsorbTech’s Floor Mat System.
A well thought out plan can be very effective in preventing slips, trips, and falls. On the contrary, simply loading your floors with walk mats is not an effective strategy.
Industrial Floor Mat Styles
The two main types of industrial floor mats are floor mats you can purchase, and rental floor mats that include a delivery and laundering service.
When you purchase mats, you clean and replace them yourself – vacuuming and carpet cleaning must be done regularly, or you need to replace them if the stain/fluid cannot be removed. Mats that are purchased are typically not the industrial grade floor mats you would receive when renting.
In contrast, rental floor mats are a commercial grade mat that includes a regular cleaning service. When mats reach their end of life, they are automatically replaced. More on purchase vs. rental is discussed in the next section.
Scrape Mats (Rubber Cleated Base)
Location: Scraper mats are mainly for outdoor use, but can also be used indoors.
Application: specifically engineered to trap large particulates and moisture such as mud, pebbles, ice, metal chips, and other large debris at the base of the mat.
Brush Mats (Rubber Cleated Base)
Location: Building entrance
Application: Course fibers are woven into the mat to help remove and hold medium-sized dirt, water, salt and other debris.
Wipe / Walk Mats (Rubber Cleated Base)
Location: Lobby, office area, showroom
Application: Constructed of specially woven yarns to remove and trap fine dust, grit, and dirt to prevent soil from spreading in your facility.
Logo Mats (Rubber Cleated Base)
Location: Office lobby or showroom
Application: Protect your floors while enhancing your corporate image. Like walk mats, logo mats are constructed of specially woven yarns to remove and trap fine dust, grit, and dirt to prevent soil from spreading in your facility.
Oil Absorbent Mats (Rubber Flat Base)
Location: Shop / Production Floor Walkways (any oily environment in your facility)
Application: Primarily constructed of a cotton pile, these industrial floor mats are more absorbent than brush, wipe, and show mats. They are designed to capture and hold oils and solvents in a manufacturing environment. Examples include SlipBusters® and SAFEmats® inserts.
Anti-Fatigue Mats (Rubber Flat Base)
Application: Anti-fatigue mats can be used where workers stand for an extended period of time as a way to reduce back pain and fatigue.
Location: Where workers stand for extended periods. Choose FatigueBusters™ where no absorbency is needed and SAFEmats™ where oils or solvents may leak onto the floor.
Common Floor Mat Mistakes
- Buying your own industrial floor mat because of perceived cost savings. Rental wipe mat fibers, coupled with professional laundering, stand up and last much longer than typical direct purchase mats. This prevents soil from spreading throughout your building.
- Poor placement of floor mats. Simply covering your entire floor surface in floor mats is not the most effective strategy for protecting your people and your floors. In fact, too many floor mats can lead to a trip hazard. A needs analysis will help determine the right floor mat for the right application at your facility.
- Skimping on floor mat coverage to save cost. Tracked-in soil is the number one cause of building maintenance costs. The cost of floor replacement or a potential fall far outweighs the cost of an extra floor mat.
- Using the wrong floor mat for the application. One of the most commonly misused commercial floor mats is the walk mat, also know as a charcoal mat or wipe mat. While a walk mat works well in an office or lobby application, it does not provide the best protection on a shop floor or in an oily environment. Some floor mat vendors will recommend a walk mat in a shop floor environment because they do not offer a floor mat designed for industrial application.
Review the chart below to see the major differences between a walk mat and SorbIts® SlipBusters®.
Compare Walk Mats to Industrial Safety Mats
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