Why Do I Need an Entrance Mat?

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Dirt Retained in an Aluminum Entrance Mat

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Did you know that WITHOUT an effective matting system, up to 24 pounds of dirt can be deposited by 1,000 people in a 20-day work month?

Foot traffic can remove over 50% of the floor finish within the first six feet of an entry after 1,500 people pass through your building entrance.

Walking and Slip Hazards

How common are slip and fall accidents?

  • According to the CDC, more than one million people suffer from slip, trip or fall injuries every year in the United States.
  • According to OSHA, lawsuits related to slip and fall accidents have risen by more than 300% since 1980.
  • The National Safety Council claims that slips and falls were responsible for over 40,000 general industry injuries in 2003.
  • Nearly 20,000 people die in the United Stated each year from unintentional falls.
  • The National Safety Council estimates medical costs and compensation for classic slip fall lawsuits at approximately $70 billion a year.

 

Kurt Berendt, president, of Ronick, Inc. emphasizes that strategic placement of aluminum mats and roll-up mats will protect building owners from the hassle and exposure of a personal injury lawsuit. “A properly cleaned floor free from lingering moisture and debris, and a properly placed entrance mat will increase traction for foot traffic and help eliminate accidents.”

Take the case of Doe v. LaSalle Partners, N.J. Middlesex County Super. Ct.  Doe, aged 29, was leaving her place of employment through the main lobby and fell. Apparently a previous snowstorm left water, salt and sand in the lobby area. She suffered a herniated disk and had to undergo surgery to repair the damage. She sued the building owner and maintenance company -- the lawsuit settled for $485,000.

Correct use of entrance mats is one of the principle ways to prevent slip and fall accidents. The transition area where customers enter your building is one of the most vulnerable. When the weather is rainy or snowy, customers entering your building will have wet footwear. When the floor surface is a hard floor (i.e. marble, tile, wood) and there is no entrance mat or runner in this transition area, the probability of a slip and fall accident is greatly increased.

Some liability insurance companies have even developed slip-and-fall prevention programs for their clients. Some of the highlights include:

  • Are absorbent entrance mats used at all doorways that lead to and from the outside?
  • Do mats or runners reach all the way to the edge of the doorway?
  • Are entrance mats cleaned frequently during inclement weather?
  • Are mats in good condition?
  • Do all the mats lie flat?
  • Are mats constructed with a beveled edge or placed in a recessed well to minimize tripping?

 

Given the relatively high likelihood and expense of slip and fall accidents, the proper use of entrance mats and runners can protect your exposure to expensive personal injury lawsuits.

This particular foot grille is for a bank with 500+ people a day using this entrance.  In addition to regular maintenance, annually this facility removes the foot grilles and heavy duty cleans both the grilles and the recessed area.   You can see the amount of dirt, debris and salt deposited underneath.  
 
Debris and dirt fall through the sloted spaces between each rail.  This particular floor grille is designed with a 1-11/16" deep recess well.  This depth provides maximum collection and retainage of dirt, debris, salt and moisture.  This picture shows what DID NOT enter the building.
 
Dirt, along with moisture and ice melter can cause "clumps" that bond to the concrete surface in the recess well collection area. Use of a scraper removes any bonded debris eliminating salt pitting on the concrete well surface
 
Over 10 pounds of debris was collected from this recess over the course of a year.