How do non slip mats work?
And how you can make the most of your non slip matting.
Non slip mats may be the most important safety feature in any workplace. Plus, if you are responsible for maintaining a public space, it’s even more important.
Slips, trips and falls are a leading cause of workplace injuries. And they’re responsible for around 8% of workplace fatalities in Australia. Non slip mats are the simplest way to prevent slip accidents. Place a non slip mat on the floor and leave it to work, nothing else is needed.
So, we know they’re important. But how do non slip mats work?
How does non slip matting work?
One word: friction.
Friction is the force that slows a moving object when it meets another object. Some flooring materials – such as marble and tiles – create very little friction, which makes an area prone to slip accidents.
Other flooring materials – such as concrete and rubber – create higher amounts of friction, so they make it harder for feet to slide across their surface. By slowing down the speed that two materials move along each other, high friction materials massively reduce accidents.
That all sounds great, but what if you don’t want a concrete floor in your workplace? Unless you’re going for an industrial style of interior design, you probably want a different type of flooring: hardwood, tiles or even marble.
Rubber’s high friction means it creates traction on any hard floor (note: not carpet).
Non slip mats let you use slippery surfaces for flooring while preventing slips, trips and falls in the areas they are most common. Doorways, water coolers and corridors are some accident-prone areas that are made safer with non slip mats.
Your non slip mat’s surface matters too
It isn’t just the underside of your non slip mat that stops you from slipping. While a rubber underside stops the mat from sliding across a smooth surface, removing the mat altogether would prevent this just as well.
The reason non slip matting is critical is the contact your feet would have with the ground. That’s where the surface texture comes in. The best surfaces for preventing slip accidents create that lovely friction between the feet and the mat’s surface too.
Rubber is still a great option, but it is equally ugly as a mat material as it is flooring. Coir and carpet surfaced scrapers are the perfect non slip material for more reasons than the friction they create underfoot.
Coir and carpet have another thing in common: absorbency. You need your non slip mat to be as absorbent as possible, to collect water from shoes before it reaches the floor beyond. Wet floors are a leading cause of slip and fall accidents, but the perfect non slip mat protects the high traffic areas and the rest of your building too.
The other type of non slip entrance mat
Preventing slips is great, but what about trips? Will laying a mat on the floor just replace one problem with another? If you are thinking this, you are a health and safety champion.
If your building sees a lot of foot traffic, it is not safe or sensible to lay anything loose on the floor. To solve this problem, commercial entrance mats are fitted into a mat well that keeps them still and secure at ground level.
Commercial and public spaces should use recessed mats because they will not move around or cause a trip hazard. Any good mat supplier will offer installation services, or if you want to do it yourself check out this article on installing an entrance mat.
If your doorway is smaller or sees less traffic, you won’t want to create a mat recess. You do, though, want to minimise trip accidents, which is where a low profile mat might be best. Low profile mats are loose-laid but their thin design means they are less likely to cause a trip hazard.
Multi-tasking non slip mats
Depending on your needs, your non slip mat can do so much more than reduce accidents.
Keeping your floors clean is the major role of doormats, and carpet or scraper surfaces make the best mat for that job. Our scraper mats are made from PVC, coir and synthetic coir, nylon, polypropylene, aluminium and rubber.
Just remember, non-rubber-backed mats need to be fitted into a recess to be non slip.
As well as keeping your floors clean, some non slip mats also have anti fatigue properties. Anti fatigue mats prevent muscle fatigue during long periods of standing still, reducing pain and increasing the productivity of workers.
Non slip anti fatigue mats are useful in jobs like warehouses, production lines and checkout counters. In an office, you can pair a standing desk with an anti fatigue mat to reduce the risk of sitting and standing all day.
How to make the most of your non slip mats
To get the most out of your non slip mats, we recommend using two. Why? One for inside, one for outside. This might sound like overkill but a team of mats ensures that no dirt or water makes it inside your home, office or building.
Here’s how they work together:
Outdoor door mats scrape the soles of shoes as they pass overhead. They remove and collect the large pieces of dirt that are most noticeable, pulling them into the structure of the mat and hiding them out of sight until you get round to cleaning.
Indoor door mats then collect the smaller pieces of dust and debris, as well as any misplaced dirt that wasn’t collected by the outdoor mat. Most importantly, though, indoor mats dry the shoes before they step onto your floor. This is the essential step for slip prevention.
How do non slip mats work?
Non slip mats work by creating friction between your feet and the floor. They also absorb any water that might otherwise be carried into the building on entering shoes. The ideal combination of mats will create the ultimate slip protection, so team them up!
For more information about non slip mats and how they work, feel free to get in touch with the team. Our matxperts know so much about non slip mats that they can’t wait to share it with you!