The humble store mat has become an unexpected hero of modern best practice OHS and ergonomics. Store matting is also an asset for building managers and storekeepers for its ability to solve expensive site issues. Store matting is even popular among insurers for its risk-prevention capabilities. Picking the right mat is simple. All you have to do is define your needs.
Evaluating what the right mat can do for you
Depending on the environment, store mats cover a wide range of very useful applications:
- Safety: Store mats reduce risk to staff and customers. Good non-slip matting can save you a fortune in liability, as well as preventing avoidable risks. A friendly, resilient surface is pleasant to walk on, as well, particularly for shoppers. Store matting is also kid-friendly, providing a safe surface for rampaging toddlers and running kids.
- Entrances and exits: These very high maintenance areas take a lot of serious wear and tear. Floor surfaces around entrances and exits are often degraded, costing business owners significant money to repair and keep looking good. Entrance matting prevents these problems very effectively.
- High use areas:Aisles, corridors and counter areas are often very similar to entrances and exits. Some surfaces, particularly worn down carpets, get the worst of this situation. Matting protects carpets and reduces the cost of maintenance.
- Hardware: Often overlooked in store planning is that surfaces have to carry the weight of goods in addition to the weight of people. The results of this mistake can be a sorry-looking surface, with possibly dangerous cracks, chips or worse, and a serious potential liability to the business. Store matting in this environment is just common sense. A good heavy duty mat will actually improve load handling, providing a no-bumps surface.
- Ergonomic flooring: Matting that reduces the “foot pounding” effect of walking and reduces strain for staff who are standing all day serving customers can provide real benefits for business owners. It is still not generally recognized that the sheer fatigue factor of standing, particularly on hard surfaces, affects staff performance. Yet there is also good medical evidence to suggest that knee and back problems can be caused by unsympathetic flooring.
- Special areas matting: In many types of stores, the materials on sale or on display present a few possible hazards of their own. Also notable are the materials used in assembly in some commercial environments, which can cause trouble if they spill. Chemically neutral matting, particularly rubber, is a good answer to a potentially dangerous situation.
- Non-slip matting: Preventing slippage is an absolute must in basic risk management. Any area, internal or external, where slips are possible risks should be covered with a heavy duty, non-slip matting system. One slip can cost a fortune. Whatever the store environment, invest in the non-slip matting.
You can see why so many business owners are investing in the new mats. Matting is quite cheap, can prevent a lot of problems and solves numerous existing issues. Take a long hard look at your flooring and talk to the experts about matting solutions. You’ll be very glad you did.