An entrance mat (placed inside or outside an entryway) helps keep your building free of outdoor elements that can get tracked indoors by wet or dirty feet. However, a poorly maintained entrance mat is worse than using none at all. Follow this 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 shifting and buckling, use double-faced adhesive tape to attach your entrance mats to the floor (especially at 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 mats caked with dirt and debris. This not only makes for unsightly conditions, it also leads to the risk that these materials will be 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. Also, you can interchange mats at locations throughout the building and rotate them 180 degrees 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
Here’s a slip-and-fall risk you may have overlooked: umbrellas. Snow and ice can drip from the umbrellas people carry into your building. If you don’t have a way to collect the runoff, floors will become slick, causing the risk of accident or injury to increase.
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 inconsequential, but it can save you lots of money in the long run. Some 800,000 people a year are hospitalized due to slip-and-fall injuries, and if you are negligent in maintaining your premises, your business can be on the hook for costly medical expenses.
Outdoor mat solutions
The best way to keep your building safe from slip-and-fall injuries is to completely eliminate snow and ice buildup on outdoor walkways and entryways. Heated outdoor mats ensure that these areas remain clear of winter elements by melting snowfall on contact and preventing ice from forming. Combine mats with an indoor one on which people can wipe their shoes so any bits of remaining debris are cleaned off.
Maintaining your entrance mats requires some effort, but it will go a long way toward ensuring that your building is safer for employees, customers and visitors.