Walk it off
Mats are generally divided into three broad categories:
- Entrance mats
- Interior mats
- Industrial/anti-fatigue mats
At the heart of soil management is preventing contaminants from entering a building.
Experts recommend a minimum of 10 to 12 feet of quality matting at entrances as part of an efficient cleaning program.
It has been reported that removing one pound of soil can cost as much as $600 — primarily in labor costs.
Entrance mats contain soil and water, dramatically reducing cleaning costs.Interior mats
These mats perform several duties, and are often used as "dust control" or "finishing" mats in conjunction with a scraper, and/or a scraper-wiper entrance mat.
Other uses of interior mats include spot, spill and soil control in high-use areas, such as near vending machines, coffee service areas, copy machines, registration areas, etc.
It is important that mats used in these areas minimize trip and fall hazards and provide slip resistance.Industrial mats
Industrial mats usually fall into two broad use areas: Traction control/floor protection mats and anti-fatigue mats.
Traction control mats are engineered to provide safe footing.
Typical applications include outside entrances, ramps, and floor areas where contaminants such as oil, grease or water are common.
Anti-fatigue mats are designed to provide a safe, productive surface for employees in occupations that require long periods of standing.
The best anti-fatigue mats are designed to comfortably support a person, and withstand long-term use.
Anti-fatigue mats should be resistant to environmental conditions that can contaminate and deteriorate the cushion in the mat.
In addition, some anti-fatigue mats trap soil and debris to help prevent or minimize cross contamination.
Larry Arnold is director of the Technical/Environmental Programs, The Andersen Company, Dalton, GA.