Can You Afford (To Ignore) Entrance Matting?

matting2High performance matting systems are not only extremely beneficial in keeping facilities cleaner and safer, they can help save you thousands of dollars in case of a potential slip and fall accident.

Risks of not having proper matting

According to Canadian Centre of Occupational Health and Safety, in Canada over 42,000 workers get injured annually due to fall accidents, with wrinkled, worn or unanchored matting being among the top five causes. The United States Department of Labor report that slips, trips, and falls constitute the majority of general industry accidents and cause 15% of all accidental deaths – that is second only to motor vehicles as a cause of fatalities. Whether you choose to buy or rent your matting, you certainly should give its condition a serious consideration.

Then there is cost of cleaning the dirt that gets tracked into the building if the mats are not effective in trapping it. Edgewood Matting Ltd. explains it can cost more than $500 to remove one pound of dirt after it’s been tracked into a building. Depending on the traffic you see in your building, up to 24 pounds of dirt can be tracked in by just 1000 people coming through an entrance over a 20 day work period, that is staggering $12,000 a month!

And we can’t leave first impressions out of the picture. Perception of your building in the eyes of the visitors starts from the entrance. According to Edgewood Matting Ltd., without adequate matting, a floor’s finish can be removed within the first 6 feet of an entrance after only 1,500 people have walked in.

How to implement an effective matting solution?

Good news is that you can implement a proper matting program in your facility quite easily, if you have a matting expert by your side. The Carpet & Rug Institute reports that just 15 feet of matting inside an entrance will trap up to 80% of dirt and moisture from the first 5 or 6 footsteps. Properly measuring the space and identifying the right scraper-wiper combination can be a daunting task and letting a matting expert handle it helps ensure that you will have the best solution for your entrance and beyond. With the recent technology advancement in matting manufacturing, high-resolution images are becoming very popular on the mats, helping promote your services to those who come visit.

What is the best mat for the job?

Several factors need to be considered before deciding what mat to purchase or rent, from space available, type and amount of traffic to weather expectations and budget. There are a number of solutions available for entrance matting but for a wet winter-spring transition season we recommend a combination of the following three mats to help reduce cleaning and maintenance, while increasing safety and protecting your floors:

  1. First, the scraper mat aggressively removes water, snow and sand from shoes.
  2. Second, the wiper/scraper mat applies an excellent defense against dirt and moisture. This is the most important mat for entryways because of its dual action.
  3. And finally, the wiper mat wipes finer dirt, reduces slips and falls, and protects flooring.

Should I purchase or rent entrance matting?

There is a common misconception that renting entrance matting is cheaper and more convenient than purchasing. Although rental matting is replaced on a scheduled basis, custodial staff still need to vacuum the carpet on a daily basis to maintain a clean look in your facility. Rental mats may range from new to several years old, which means that some mats may be worn down and cause slip hazards. By purchasing a mat you can choose from customized sizes and prints, and save money in the long run. You can use this simple formula to determine whether you should buy or rent a mat.

Weekly Rental Cost:

$______/mat  X  52 (weeks) =  $______/year

Ownership Cost:

$______/mat  ÷  3 (years of life) =  $______/year

Next steps

With a variety of options, there are different mats to suit every need. Our professionals can help you select the best solution for your facility. Contact Swish Account Managers at 1-855-GOSWISH (467-9474) in Canada or 1-800-639-7226 in the US to learn how we can help you create a safer and healthier environment in your facility.

For best practices and product recommendations, view our Floor Care brochure.

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