Commercial Anti Fatigue Mats are Mandatory

Commercial Anti Fatigue Mats

Commercial anti fatigue mats aren’t mandatory by law, but employers from government through to bricks & mortar businesses should take a closer look at using commercial anti fatigue mats.

There are many different types of flooring used for commercial purposes. Common or more popular types of flooring are carpet, laminate, tile and varying grades of finished concrete. Some flooring systems might use material that offer some flex or cushioning, like bamboo, but depending on the flooring, typically it will offer little support or cushioning for people that stand on it for long periods of time.

Commercial flooring is designed to withstand a high volume of use. They are not design for support and comfort. Even high-end flooring will not provide users the support they need. This is why the use of commercial anti fatigue mats is so essential for the work space.

Commercial anti fatigue mats, also referred to as commercial floor mats, are designed with technology to help provide support and lessen the impact on your feet, ankles, knees, hips and back. Science clearly shows that sitting for long periods of time is very unhealthy. Standing for long periods, and especially on flooring without adequate support, is also very unhealthy for you.

Using commercial floor mats can reduce the pressure on your feet, knees and back by up to 32%. The commercial anti fatigue comfort mat keeps the muscles in your feet and legs active. This activity means that you are constantly contracting your muscles while standing on the mat. This really helps to circulate the blood. When workers use commercial floor mats they experience an overall reduction in fatigue.

The benefits of a using a commercial anti fatigue mat:

  1. Reducing slip and fall injuries.
  2. Reducing glass and material breakage when anything falls on mats.
  3. Reducing back pain and stress when standing for long periods of time.
  4. Increasing productivity by giving comfort.
  5. Preventing injury and fatigue.

Type & Uses of Commercial Floor Mats

Floor mats have many different application, just think of any setting where a person is required to stand on their feet for long periods of time and you have a good chance that a floor mat could be beneficial.

Depending on the use and the setting there are several different choices for commercial floor mats. Typical types of floor matting are:

  • Interlocking foam mats
  • Rubber mats
  • Eco-friendly & recycled material mats
  • One-piece ‘runner’ mats

Uses for commercial floor mats:

  • In front of work benches
  • Behind service counters
  • At workstations

In the warehouse or at the office, commercial floor mats can be used to improve the health and well being of the worker, reduce employee downtime due to injury or illness and ultimately have an impact on a business’s bottom line.

The surface that people stand is crucial to their overall health if they have to stand on it for long periods of time. Over a period of time it can have a significant impact on a person’s health. Standing for long periods of time leads to an increase in the risk of suffering from a repetitive stress or strain injury.

Facts About Workplace Injuries

Workplace injuries and illness account for a large amount of lost productivity for American businesses. The shame about it is that many of the common workplace injuries are ones that can be prevented, or at least steps can be taken to greatly reduce the risk.

Most Common Workplace Injuries 
A study out of Australia revealed that the most common workplace injuries that received compensation were from sprains and strains (41.9% of all serious claims).(i)

One of the things about the stress and strain type injuries are that they are linked closely to repetitive motion injuries or repetitive stress injuries (RSI), as the Occupational Safety and Health Administration categorizes them.

A recent poll of top US insurance companies shows that of the top ten most common workplace injuries repetitive motion/stress injuries are #9.(ii)

Workplace Injury Statistics

The repetitive type injury brought on by repetitive motion or stress, is one that is less obvious, and develops or manifest over a long run. These stress injuries strain muscles and tendons causing back pain, vision problems, and different injuries like, carpal tunnel syndrome.

All this is having a big toll on the productivity and economy of the country. The Liberty Mutual Research Institute for Safety reviewed data provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the National Academy of Social Insurance and release a top ten list with estimated dollars paid in compensation:

  1. Overexertion $15.1B 25.3%
  2. Falls on same level $9.19B 15.4%
  3. Struck by object or equipment $5.3B 8.9%
  4. Falls to lower level $5.12B 8.6%
  5. Other exertions or bodily reactions $4.27B 7.2%
  6. Roadway incidents involving motorized land vehicle $3.18B 5.3%
  7. Slip or trip without fall $2.17B 3.6%
  8. Caught in/compressed by equipment or objects $2.1B 3.5%
  9. Repetitive motions involving micro-tasks $1.84B 3.1%
  10. Struck against object or equipment $1.76B 2.9%

Once again, in the top ten is Repetitive Motion injuries.(iii)

The National Safety Council also came to the same conclusion:  

top ten workplace injury study

Workplace Injury Prevention

Standing for long periods of time on unforgiving surfaces will have a toll on a worker’s health. The the list of possible injuries is long. Standing hurts the feet, ankles, knees and hips with the shear force of gravity. Include the impact of poor posture, which mostly affects the upper body, and you have a hyper increased risk of injury from RSI.

Prevention is good for business With most health and safety issues at work, it is less expensive to prevent than to treat or correct after the injury. Taking proactive steps will reduce exposure to risk factors and will pay off in the future.

  • Healthy workers, are more efficient, and happier.
  • Reduced lost-time injury claims which have direct and indirect costs.
  • Less strenuous tasks makes it easier to train workers.
  • Improved employee retention.
  • Improved employee satisfaction, morale and well-being.
  • Increased productivity.

Prevention Tips
Here are some practical tips to reduce the risk of employees having injuries from repetitive motion or stress.

  • Properly set up desks, and equipment and ensure it is adjusted to fit the person using it.
  • Provide information and even training on proper posture. This applies to standing as much as it does sitting.
  • Encourage employees to move around, take breaks and even get some exercise into their daily work routine.
  • Talk to your workers and find out what is working for them and what is not.

There is a strong link between exposure to risk and work-related injuries. Workplace pains and strains can be prevented!

For people that have to stand for long periods because it is required of their work, it is really important that the work environment is as optimized as possible. This includes the use of commercial anti fatigue mats whenever it is possible.

Commercial anti fatigue mats are very cost effective and can be used throughout your facility or office where your employees spent a great deal of time standing. Remember:

“An ounce of prevention is a pound of cure” - Benjamin Franklin.