Floor Safety Basics: Floor Mat Placement Procedures & Maintenance

Proper floor safety precautions are crucial in preventing the bulk of workplace accidents. It may not seem like it, but having the right floor mats and having them placed strategically throughout the building can be an effective mitigation tool for employee and customer slips and falls.

Read ‘Slips, Trips and Falls Safety Tips’ for more information on how to prevent slips and falls, which account for 12-15% of workers compensation claims.

Floor Mat Safety Elements

When examining your floor safety procedures, be sure to evaluate these three things:

  1. Floor Mat Quality
  2. Floor Mat Placement
  3. NFSI Certification, Training and Maintenance

Floor Mat Quality

  • Non-slip – Slip resistant materials needed
  • Cushioned – Helps reduce discomfort and fatigue for standing employees
  • Durability – Well-made from resilient materials
  • Easily cleaned – Simple to vacuum and wash
  • Seasonal changes – Winter vs. summer mats

Floor Mat Placement

Placement of the floor mats will depend on the elements you encounter. There could be seasonal factors to consider: rain, dust, snow/ice, grease, etc. The most common areas to place floor mats are:

  • Entrance areas – Front entrance, back doors, side doors and employee entrances
  • High Risk areas – Around ice machines and beverage/coffee stations, produce aisles, prep sinks and kitchens (should be equipped with drainage holes to capture dirt, food and other contaminants)
  • High traffic areas – Hallways, checkout stations, lead out from the kitchen
  • Productivity areas – Workstations, customer service areas, etc.

NFSI Certification & Floor Safety Maintenance

  • National Floor Safety Institute certification is a product that has been submitted to the NFSI by the product manufacturer for testing according to the applicable ANSI/NFSI standard. When a product has met all minimum requirements to be identified as a “High-Traction” product, the NFSI grants the product as NFSI Certified “High-Traction.”

Floor mats will need to be properly cleaned and maintained in order to keep them from curling or acquiring so much dirt that they have an “ink pad effect” and spread contaminants across a facility—or worse, become a slip and fall hazard.

It is critical that you conduct floor safety maintenance walk-throughs that include:

  • Regular visual assessments to identify soil loads or potential wear and tear issues
  • Daily cleaning and vacuuming of mats at minimum to remove surface debris
  • An adequate supply of mat inventory available so you can replace soiled mats during inclement weather or high-traffic periods
  • An ongoing schedule for laundering floor mats based on traffic patterns

Read, “Slip and Fall Accidents: What are Floor Audits and How Can Society Help You?”

Don’t Let Your Floors Catch You Slipping

Just a little bit of rain or snow or spillage can be a serious hazard if the proper floor mats aren’t in the correct places. Mitigate risk to your employees and your business by employing a stringent floor safety plan. You can also read more on slips and falls in the workplace here or visit our Risk Control Library for additional safety controls and resources.

To learn more about how Society Insurance can help your business mitigate risk, consult with a Society agent in your area.

Author

Blair has a bachelor's degree from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater in Occupational Safety. He completed graduate work at The College of Insurance in New York City, which has since merged with St. Johns University's School of Risk Management. Blair's work experience includes three years in Occupational Health & Safety and the past 18 years in Risk Control.

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