“The Guide to Safer Floors at Home and Work” is a comprehensive guide to floor safety. This document includes safety issues in homes and in work places, as well as public places where people gather. The responsibility of any property owner is to do their best to protect people who visit their establishment. A fundamental part of that is assuring that floors are clean, safe and not likely to produce slips and falls.
We wrote this guide to address a wide range of “How To” issues on creating safer floors.
The reality is that different types of locations have different flooring issues that can lead to dangerous situations. We will cover many of the more common types of locations, but it is important to remember that any location has its own unique challenges and you might need to adjust this floor safety guide’s advice to best suit your risks and dangers.
Flooring in your building may be more susceptible to being slippery with just minor liquid spills, while a rubbery floor or carpet would not need as many precautions. However, even if interior floors are not likely to become slippery, you will still want industrial grade floormats at entrances to reduce dirt and leaves from being tracked in. Any property owner wants to make sure their location stays clean and inviting, as well as safe.
The Danger of Slip and Fall Accidents
There are many lawyers who specialize in slip and fall cases. This is because these kinds of accidents are common and could have been prevented with better floor safety solutions like floor mats, anti-slip tapes and floor coatings that make for a grittier surface and reduce the fall risk. So, if you have a place open to the public it is essential to practice good floor safety.
According to the CDC, over a million people in the US annually are injured due to slip, trip and falls. These are the ones bad enough to go to the emergency room. Also, many thousands of people die each year from these injuries. While you can never eliminate the risk entirely, you can have an environment where it is clear that your organization is concerned and takes safety seriously. Just having a “Floor is Slippery” sign is not enough. Floormats that protect walkers are going to be more effective because not every person will see your sign before they walk in a slippery area.
Workplace slips and falls is a leading cause for missed days at work. It is also one of the top reasons people go to the emergency room from work, and in some cases, it can result in serious injury or death. Floormats can increase safety and reduce the risk of workplace injury and lost productivity.
Places That Need Floormats
Any place the public is going to be entering or leaving needs to have good quality floormats in the entry way. This improves safety and cleanliness. It makes the location more inviting. If you are in a colder region, it will stop ice, snow, slush and dirty water from pooling up as people come in and have snow on their boots. This is obvious and everyplace needs entry floormats for higher traffic areas.
But there are a lot of special locations where floor safety is even a bigger deal because of special situations where floors are more slippery more frequently, and also because of being places where high risk walkers are at.
The Elderly Slip and Fall
Any place that has regular walkers who are 65 or older needs to take special precautions to make sure they have floors safe. The reason is, slips, trips and falls are one of the leading causes of injury for this group and cause a higher number of deaths in older people as well. Also, the injuries have a higher likelihood of being more severe due to more brittle bones of older people. While a young person might fall and skin their knee, an elderly person is more likely to break a hip or a wrist, requiring more care and more hospital expenses.
While slipping and falling is an issue, so is tripping. That is why you do not want to have old or cheap floor mats that curl up and cause a tripping hazard. A good, heavy floormat that stays flush with the ground will not be a tripping hazard like a bad floormat could be. Always purchase high quality floormats from a good vendor like Floormat.com
Floormats for Pools, Hot Tubs and Locker Rooms
Any time you have hard surface floors and water, you are going to want to have a good layout of pool and spa floor matting, anti-slip tape and floormats around to protect people from slips and falls. Sure, you should tell the kids “Don’t Run!” but you also have to make sure the floor around any water is safe.
Also, people leaving an area where they have been in water will sometimes not dry off properly. Unfortunately, this can lead to dripping puddles of water in all kinds of unexpected places. Having more floormats can reduce this risk in walkways to and from pools, hot tubs and locker rooms.
Also, always make sure that you clean hard flooring like tiles with the approved chemical cleaners. If you use the incorrect cleaner, it can leave flooring VERY slippery. Proper training is essential for anyone cleaning around these areas.
Gyms, dance studios and other fitness places usually have a combination of hard floors and areas covered by floormats. The correct combination is very important. Places where people are drinking or maybe resting but sweaty can result in wet spots on the floor and be a safety issue. Also, you do not want to have dirty shoes track mud and dirt throughout the place. Ideally you have great customers who wear clean shoes, but we all know those people who wear dirty shoes on the treadmill and leave a pile of grim behind the belt. Best to have more floormats to keep people from slipping and keep shoes cleaner.
Also, heavier rubber floormats are very useful in places where people are lifting weights. This protects flooring, could reduce an injury if something falls on someone’s foot and also it will be easier on people’s knees, which means your fitness center keeps more customers because they get less injuries.
While you will probably never know how many injuries you prevented, over a longer period of time it is safe to imagine that floormats reduced injuries from slips and falls, from wear and tear, and saved you money on cleaning as well. This all adds up to floormats being a smart investment.
Floormats for Schools
If there is one place that needs to keep lots of good floormats around, it is schools and universities. So much foot traffic and the hard floors all add up to a lot of slip and fall opportunities, as well as issues with people tracking in dirt or snow. Kids may have drinks with them as well, and sometimes kids are not the most responsible when they spill a liquid and do not take a moment to clean it up. This can all lead to wet, slippery floors in schools.
While it is a good idea to have floormats throughout the school in key place, there are some locations that are higher priority. Locker rooms, bathrooms, gym entrance, lobby, door entrances, labs and in parts of the cafeteria that make sense. Rubber matting in the kitchen as well is most likely required in your state. Also, branded entry mats can have the school’s mascot on it to add to your school pride.
Also remember anti-slip tape for things like bleachers. Inside or outside, you do not want people to fall down metal or wooden stairs. Using anti-slip products on the ends of the steps can reduce that risk and make game day safer.
Floormats for Restaurants
Restaurants employ a lot of people and the back of the house in restaurants is a common safety concern. With dishes being washed and food preparation going on, the hard tile floors can become slick and falls are common for employees in restaurants, who are working at a fast pace. To increase safety and minimize risk to the restaurant and the employees, it is important to follow all OSHA laws around floors and have high quality floormats and rubber floor matting throughout.
Floormats can do more than just reduce the injury risk. They can reduce fatigue and make cleaning easier as well. Sometimes a slip does not result in a fall, but might result in a tray full of plates and food being dropped. Floormats can reduce these problems, decreasing costs and improving customer service, which will increase profits.
Floormats in Factories
Speaking of OSHA, if you manage a factory you are certainly aware of rules and regulations around floor safety as well. Not only do you need to provide firm, safe footing on the factory floor, but also use anti-slip tapes for things people need to climb up into. An accident can severely hurt productivity and profits, as well as result in serious injuries to your highly trained workers.
If you have people on their feet all day as well, you can boost productivity and show them how much you appreciate them by making sure they are standing on anti-fatigue floormats.
While hospitals often have hard surfaces, including floors, so they can be cleaned and sanitized, they also need floor mats and pads in key areas to reduce slip and fall risks. The good thing about a floormat is that it can be affordably replaced. Cheap floormats will not hold up to traffic long enough, but a good quality floor mat product can withstand a lot of traffic but still be replaced regularly to keep things looking new and safe.
Hospitals also have a strong need for the anti-slip tapes and coatings because they have so many hard surfaces people walk on.
In Winter, heated outdoor floormats that melt snow and ice can also keep areas where people are dropped off or picked up free of icy hazards. The last thing anyone wants is someone showing up to a hospital and falling as they go to enter, resulting in another injury.
Cashier Anti-Fatigue Pads
Any place you ask people to stand for a long time, you can use anti-fatigue pads to keep them feeling more energetic and refreshed. This can reduce the breaks needed, it can reduce days called off and it can improve customer service because people are nicer when they feel less tired.
Heated Deskchair Pads
Likewise, a heated pad for under office chairs can help employees stay warm. While this may not be a traditional safety issue, having heated pads instead of space heaters everywhere will improve employee moral and also reduce the trip hazards of heaters and wires in offices.
There are many kinds of indoor floormats. There are entryway floormats where people clean their shoes when entering a place. There are the heated and anti-fatigue mats as we have mentioned. There are floormats to soak up water and other kinds of mats designed to reduce slip risks. There are many specialty floormats as well such as pet floormats, antimicrobial floormats and grease catching floormats. Floormat.com carries general and specialty floormats that are high quality and affordable.
Maybe we should call them ground mats. Floormats that are designed to be used outside can keep a path clear of snow and ice. They can also be used to keep walkways safe. Having an entryway mat outside can be ideal to keep indoors cleaner. And if you have a deck or pool, mats and anti-slip tape can make your outdoor festivities safer.
Benefits of Floor Mats & Coverings
Everyone understands that the main reasons to have floormats is to keep things cleaner and to reduce slip and fall risks. They often look great as well. Other benefits people often do not think about is that they are affordable to replace when needed. They can easily be moved to a different location or position. They can have special properties such as anti-static and can include things like a tacky sheet that really cleans most dirt off shoes if needed. The flexibility of floormats makes them excellent for every home and business.
Other Non-Slip Floor Products
Lastly, sometimes you want to improve safety but a floormat simply will not do. Maybe it is in a small space or you need anti-slip footing on a ladder or the deck of a boat, for example. Remember there are other ways to address the issue. Anti-slip tape is one way. There are also anti-slip coatings that can be painted on a surface. There are also anti-slip stair treads that can be installed easily.
We hope you enjoyed “The Guide to Safer Floors at Home and Work.” All safety products discussed in this guide are available at Floormat.com and you can call use with questions if it is not clear which product is the best for an issue you have.