Wet and dirty floors are not only displeasing in appearance, but are potentially dangerous. When placed strategically throughout the facility, matting systems are the first line of defence against slip-and-fall accidents and tracked-in soil and debris.

According to an industry expert, an effective matting system will help to increase the life of a floor and present a consistent, quality appearance. In addition, entrance matting can help to lower overall maintenance costs by decreasing the amount of dirt tracked into the building and improve safety by helping to reduce slip-and-fall accidents caused by water collecting on hard floor surfaces.

Varying types of mats available from General Mat Company are designed specifically for certain surfaces in certain areas of a facility. The most important and common type of matting is entrance matting. By choosing a high-quality entrance matting system, all dirt and water can be trapped, thereby reducing slip-and-fall potential.

According to David Freedman, Director of Sales, General Mat Company, entrance matting should cover an entrance, preventing 80% to 85% of dirt from coming into the facility. There is also a standard formula for entrance matting, the order of which is important in ensuring an efficient matting system.

Multi-Guard: This type of matting should be placed in traffic entry points outside a building. Scraper mats are considered as the first line of defence and should remove 40% to 50% of dirt off.

Waterhog Classic: The second line of defence, this indoor/outdoor matting is strategically placed at entrance points. It comprises heavy-duty polypropylene and should be placed inside the door. This matting will dust and dry shoes and extend five feet in. It is also responsible for 60% to 65% of dirt removal.

Waterhog Fashion: This matting works to dust and dry shoes as well. Usually constructed of polypropylene fibres, this matting is the final line of defence.

Matting systems are not just for buildings. Contrary to most people’s belief that mats are only for entrances, a mat should be placed anywhere in public and non-public places, from a kitchen to a dining area, back halls to a lobby. Most of these places are heavy traffic areas and have a change in tile to carpet floor covering.

There are several types of non-entrance matting that are used extensively in facilities.
Anti-fatigue: Available in a solid or sponge-like form, these mats are designed for dry applications where people stand for long periods of time. Hotel reception areas, grocery stores, hospitals and manufacturing facilities often use this matting to benefit workers’ health. Drain-through anti-fatigue mats are suitable for kitchen/food service areas, where grease or water is often present.

Hallway runners: Runner matting, usually in length, has three basic functions:

  • Removing dirt/debris from shoes
  • Protecting the surface below the matting
  • Protecting floors from moisture during inclement weather

If the matting is in the kitchen, it will be exposed to grease, water and soap. People have to take all these factors into consideration and place a mat in regard to functionality.

Slip-and-fall prevention: Matting systems work to reduce slip-and-fall accidents by collecting water and soil and keeping interior floors cleaner and drier. Mats that move or crumple up can be a hazard and hence, special care needs to be taken to ensure that matting remains stationary. Using a rubber pad under the mats serves to keep them from moving. If matting is placed over carpeting, Velcro proves helpful.

For overall safety, mats should be checked often, to make sure that they are clean, in place and therefore, functional.