When do Entrance Mats Create a Slip or Trip Hazard?
When entrance mats do more harm than good.
Although the main purpose of an entrance mat is to reduce slips, trips and falls, they must be used correctly. A badly installed or wrongly chosen mat can create a trip or slip hazard and make an accident more likely to happen.
Some of our customers are unaware that their recessed entrance mat needs to be installed properly. We want to help you understand how to get the best use out of your products, so here are some of the things to watch out for with recessed entrance mats:
7 ways that entrance mats cause slips, trips and falls
One of the common causes of dangerous matting we see with new customers is drummy bedding. This video demonstrates what drummy bedding is. You can hear the echoing when the mat is knocked.
Drummy bedding is caused by poorly laid bedding, which crumbles away and creates bumps in the mat above. The uneven surface caused by these ripples makes trip accidents much more likely.
To avoid drummy bedding, engage a quality mat installer to fit your recessed entrance mat.
Inadequate slip resistance
The main purpose of non slip matting is – funnily enough – to reduce slip accidents. But a common mistake is to assume that all entrance matting is non slip.
For a mat to be non slip, it must be one of two things: fitted into a mat recess or loose-laid with a non slip (preferably rubber) backing. Mats with PVC or vinyl backing slide around on hard surfaces, making the entrance more dangerous than if you had no mat at all.
To prevent your mats from sliding around, ask your provider for recommendations and look for products that specify ‘non slip matting’.
Before installing an entrance mat, the recess needs to be levelled. This is usually done using self-levelling concrete, other times, an underlay might be used to build up the recess. No matter what levelling material is used, this step must not be skipped.
If the mat being installed is too thin for the recess, there will be a lip surrounding it. This lip (the edge of the recess) creates a trip hazard that gets extremely dangerous in medium and high-traffic areas.
To avoid creating a trip hazard around your mat, ensure your provider levels it properly.
Absorbent entrance matting is crucial for drying feet before they come inside. But, each mat can only hold a certain volume of water. If you do not let your mat dry fully between uses, water will spill onto your floor – a major cause of slip accidents.
To keep water off your floors, invest in a high-quality, absorbent entrance mat. Pair it with an outdoor entrance mat to scrape dirt from shoes, then let your carpet-surfaced mat conduct the final dry.
Also, dry your mat regularly to avoid it becoming sodden.
Shedding coir matting
If you use coir mats, you already know they tend to shed their fibres. If these aren’t cleared away regularly, they can also become a slip hazard. Regular vacuuming is enough to avoid your shedding coir mat from becoming dangerous. Vacuum the mat as well as the surrounding area to pull up any fibres sitting on the surface.
Worn thick foam backing
Something that happens in cheaper or overused mats is the backing coming away from the adhesive. This causes the surface of the mat to bubble up and create a trip hazard. Usually, a mat has to be very overused to become dangerous in this way.
To avoid your foam backing deteriorating, maintain it regularly and ensure you use the appropriate mat for your application.
Mat not glued down
Worse than the adhesive deteriorating is using none at all. Sometimes, customers don’t realise they need to install a mat into a recess. This involves adhesive, pins or some other method of fixing it to the floor.
If your mat is not glued down, it creates a similar problem as a non-levelled recess. Gaps, bubbles and uneven surfaces are all dangerous in busy entranceways, so fitting your mat properly is crucial.
To avoid your mat coming loose and causing a trip hazard, glue it down or hire a professional installer.
How to prevent your entrance mat from causing slips, trips and falls
Although entrance mats are used to prevent accidents, improper installation and use can make them counter-productive. To avoid all the hazards on this list, engage a professional mat installer.
If you aren’t sure whether you need your mat installed, our friendly team of matxperts are always happy to help. Get in touch at [email protected], using the chat function below or call 1300 628 746.