Magazine article Journal of Property Management

Look Down: Have You Noticed Your Floor Mats Lately?

Magazine article Journal of Property Management

Look Down: Have You Noticed Your Floor Mats Lately?

Article excerpt

Woe the lowly floor mat. It is innocuous; we typically do not give it much thought and we walk all over it all the time. Even the term has a derogatory meaning. Notwithstanding this image problem, floor mats are an important part of facility safety programs that have proven to be beneficial in minimizing slips and falls on hard surface entrance floors.

Despite their positive attributes, floor mats can also present a tripping hazard if improperly chosen, installed and maintained. Here are some considerations for choosing an effective and safe entrance walk off mat.

PLACEMENT: For any mat to be effective, it has to be placed where it will be needed. An entrance floor mat must not be located too away from the door, exposing a portion of the very floor to be protected. This means locating the edge of the mat at the door to prevent a person from stepping on the floor that's meant to be covered by the mat.

EDGES: Mat edges should be tapered to allow for a smooth transition between the mat and the adjacent floor surface. The height difference along the edge of the mat should not present a tripping hazard.

WEIGHT: While thin mats may be less expensive, they are easily displaced by the door, wheeled carts or just general foot traffic. If not re-laid flat, they become a tripping hazard to other pedestrians walking into or out of the building. Mats need to be heavy and stable enough so they will lay flat on the floor and have the backing constructed of a material that will not slide on the floor.

SIZE: To be effective and provide the maximum benefits of removing water from shoes, floor mats must be large enough to be stepped on at least once, with each foot, before the person steps off onto the floor. …

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