Resilient floor coverings specialist Nora Quality Rubber Flooring Systems has been helping several hospitals ensure an ergonomic work environment for their surgical and nursing staff.

Healthcare facilities anywhere in the world are high-stress environments requiring the staff to be on their feet for extended hours each day. However, long periods spent standing in surgery, for instance, can lead to considerable tension being placed on muscles and lead to degenerative changes in the spinal disc and small vertebral joints. To minimise illnesses and injury, and ensure a healthy work environment for their staff, hospital managements, especially in Germany are increasingly investing in ergonomically designed workplaces.

The properties of the floor covering will determine, to a significant extent, the comfort factor as experienced by the surgical professional. A harder surface wears out the human body more easily than a flexible and elastic floor. Rubber floor coverings from Nora Systems offer long-lasting elasticity, enabling doctors and surgical staff to stand for hours while reducing the burden on the back and joints. Additionally, Nora floor coverings also meet the hygiene objectives of healthcare environments.

These factors helped decision-makers at German hospitals Klinikum Crailsheim, Asklepios Klinik Nord (Hamburg) and Marien-Hospital (Marl), as well as the Dutch hospital Universitair Medisch Centrum (UMC) in Utrecht, choose the ‘Made in Germany’ Nora floor coverings for their new buildings and operating theatre renovations.

Rubber floor coverings promote good air quality in operating theatres

Confirming the positive effects of rubber floors on the back and joints, Marion Makowe, head of surgery at the Asklepios Klinik Nord in Hamburg says that it’s gentle and comfortable to walk and stand on the floor coverings. Ever since the rooms were fitted with Nora coverings during a renovation, surgery professionals are no longer asking for rubber standing mats.

The head of surgery at the Marien-Hospital in Marl says that the elasticity of the Norament 928 grano rubber floor ensures comfort for surgeons and surgical staff as it takes the strain off the back and muscles.

Nora rubber floors were also installed at the new surgical centre built at the UMC Utrecht, which opened for operations in 2016 with 21 theatres. The Noraplan sentica ed floor installed at this centre not only improves the ergonomics of the theatres but also supports good air quality within the rooms. All Nora rubber floors are free from plasticisers (phthalates), as well as chloro-organic compounds, and are therefore certified with the ‘Blue Angel’ and all other internationally significant environmental certificates.

Outstanding hygienic properties

Hygiene is an important aspect of surgical theatre floors, which also means that the floor coverings in these environments should be able to withstand disinfectants and other chemicals without any scope for deterioration. Thomas Schaff, state-accredited expert in hospital hygiene, who is responsible for the hospitals in Crailsheim and Schwäbisch-Hall and is familiar with rubber floor coverings from decades of experience, explains that Nora rubber floors used in hospitals, when examined under the microscope, have the smoothest and densest surfaces. This means that residue from disinfectants can be easily removed even hours after an operation, and the entire surface area of the natural rubber floor covering can also be easily disinfected.

Uncoated floor surface

With a leak-proof and sealed surface, Nora rubber floors can be permanently maintained without any coating. There is no need to reapply floor coatings, enabling operating theatres to be available for use round the clock.

According to surgery manager Hans-Peter Lehnen who is responsible for capacity planning, controlling and construction management at the Asklepios Klinik Nord, hospitals need to ensure that their operating theatres are always available. Aware that the floor is a critical element in a lot of construction projects, he says that they always strive to use high-quality, resistant products that will not cause any problems.

The electrostatic dissipative floor coverings from Nora Systems, which have been established as reliable for use in operating theatres, are available in different versions, colours and designs.