An entrance mat (placed either inside or outside an entryway) can help keep your building clean from wet or dirty feet. But a poorly maintained entrance mat can actually make things worse than using none at all. Follow our advice for the care and maintenance of your entrance mats, and you’ll get years of use out of them, not to mention reduce the occurrence of slip and fall injuries on your premises due to tracked in water, mud, and dirt.
Securing your entrance mats
An entrance mat that’s not firmly affixed to the floor can shift. If the corners flip up, people will trip rather than slip. The same can be said for a mat that does not lie flat but instead buckles in the middle.
To prevent this, use double-faced adhesive tape to attach your entrance mats to the floor (especially in the four corners). This will provide an additional layer of security for heavily trodden areas.
Cleaning your entrance mats
The location of your mats will determine to what extent you should be concerned about outside materials soiling them.
Workers walking through mud or slush and coming in through side doors can leave your mats caked with dirt and debris. This not only makes for unsightly conditions, it also leads to the risk of these materials being tracked further into the building.
Placing an additional high-fiber mat outside doors and instructing employees to wipe their feet before entering will go a long way toward keeping your indoor mats clean. You can also rotate mats throughout locations (and even 180 degrees in the same spot) to help distribute wear and ensure longer use.
For more information, see the National Safety Council’s data sheet on making the best use of your floor mats.
Umbrellas and unmatted areas
One slip-and-fall risk that you may have overlooked: umbrellas. Snow and ice can drip from the umbrellas people carry into your building onto the floor, and if you don’t have a way to collect that runoff, it can lead to accident or injury.
Place an inexpensive umbrella bag stand/dispenser, like those made by Uline and other companies, immediately inside the doorway. This will encourage visitors and customers to safely encase their wet umbrellas in plastic bags before treading further inside.
An umbrella stand might sound silly or pointless, but it can save you lots of money in the long run. 800,000 people a year are hospitalized from slip and fall injuries, and your organization can be on the hook for these medical costs if it’s found that you were negligent in maintaining your grounds.
Outdoor mat solutions
Visitors and employees can bring a lot of snow and ice into your building, and the best way to keep your building safe from slip and fall injuries is to leave the snow and ice outside. Heated outdoor mats ensure that the majority of snow and ice melts off people’s shoes before they even enter your building. Combine this with an indoor mat on which people can better dry off their shoes.
The best way to care and maintain your entrance mats: use a two-pronged approach including both indoor and outdoor mats. This also goes a long way toward ensuring your building is safe for visitors, customers, and employees.