The floor is perhaps one of the more neglected aspects of occupational health and safety. According to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, falls are the largest contributor to hospitalisations and the leading cause of injury deaths. Because of this, it’s important that every business takes measures to ensure the safety of their floors. One way to do this is to place rubber mats at key areas in your workplace.
Unfortunately, you can’t just place the same type of mat at every corner of your workplace and hope that it’ll make it safer. The type of commercial rubber matting that you’ll need will depend on the industry that you’re in.
To help you figure out what you need, we’re going to discuss five different types of rubber matting and how they’re used.
Anti-fatigue rubber mats
Anti-fatigue rubber mats are perfect for workplaces that require their employees to stand for hours on end. These mats provide cushioning for the feet, which in turn provides some relief to the legs and the lower back. Ultimately, this relief might be able to reduce the number of musculoskeletal injuries in industries such as manufacturing, packaging, retail or hospitality. Anti-fatigue mats may be able to mitigate back pain, posture problems and leg soreness.
Additionally, the compression of the mat also promotes subtle movement in the feet. This movement improves blood flow, which then allows the muscles to function properly and the brain to be more engaged and active during work hours. All these benefits can significantly increase worker productivity throughout the day.
Entrance mats are designed to remove the dirt and debris that are stuck on the bottom of your shoes. Depending on the type of material, these mats may also be able to absorb moisture.
As the name suggests, they are typically placed at entrances so that people who enter your place of business can wipe their soles before they enter.
These mats will reduce the amount of cleaning that you have to do on a regular basis. They keep your workplace spotless and make the floor easier to maintain. More importantly, they prevent moisture from getting on your floors, reducing the chances of someone slipping.
You can get ribbed rubber mats or polypropylene fibre mats. Rubber is more durable, but it won’t be able to absorb moisture like other materials. That being said, the recessed parts of the rubber should still be able to trap some of the moisture. If you prefer aesthetics over function, getting polypropylene fibre mats might suit your business. However, if your place of business sees heavy traffic, a rubber mat may be more suitable.
Drainage mats have holes that allow liquids to pass through the rubber and towards the drains on the floor. These are perfect for commercial kitchens, bars, and food processing facilities that are prone to spillages.
Just like entrance mats, drainage mats prevent moisture from getting on your floor, which then reduces the chances of slip and falls. Such mats also make the facility more hygienic as pools of moisture tend to attract bacteria if left on the floor for an extended period of time.
You can also get drainage mats with anti-fatigue properties. With these, cooks, bartenders and factory workers will be able to stand for a few hours at a time and not suffer from major musculoskeletal injuries.
Gym mats are ideal for facilities that see a lot of physical activity. These mats are sturdy, dense and durable. They can withstand constant foot traffic and heavy items like barbells and exercise machines. Additionally, since gym mats are non-porous, they are easy to clean and don’t have an unpleasant odour after they’re used.
These mats can be used for weightlifting, yoga or combat sports like boxing or Muay Thai. You can even get different of colours to match your business brand
Scraper mats are similar to entrance mats in that they are both used to remove debris off of your soles. The main difference is that scrapers typically have large domes or truncated spikes that scrape dirt off shoes. They are made of heavy-duty rubber and are generally reserved for outdoor use.
Scraper mats also double as an anti-slip surface, providing extra grip for the workers while they’re standing. This is especially important if workers are on high, elevated surfaces. Some scrapers also have holes in them so that the moisture can pass through, allowing the surface to remain dry.
There you have it, five types of rubber matting their uses. If you’re running a business, it’s important that you don’t overlook the importance of floor safety. As an owner, as a manager, or even as a regular employee, it is your responsibility to keep the workplace safe for yourself and everyone else around you.