From factories and manufacturing facilities to commercial kitchens and leisure centres, maintaining a safe working environment should be a priority for any business. But one often overlooked yet crucial aspect of maintaining the standards in this type of workspace is the proper use of durable drainage mats. But what is a drainage mat?
These simple yet effective mats prevent slips, trips, and falls in work areas where chemicals, oils, or water may spill and provide a secure surface to walk on, minimising the risk of accidents and injuries. Throughout this article, we’ll explore what drainage mats are and give you more understanding of their benefits, the different types to choose from, and making the right choice of drainage mats for your business.
You might not think there’s much to understand about drainage mats. But they’re specialised rubber or PVC mats designed with a pattern of small drainage holes to help manage excess water and other liquids in the workplace.
Their primary purpose is to prevent slips and falls by effectively channelling fluids away from the surface so employees have a secure, non-slip walking area. Usually made from materials such as rubber or PVC, these mats are ideal for their durability and resistance to wear and tear.
The unique design of drainage mats means that when liquids are spilt, the holes or slots on the mat allow effective drainage, with any fluid flowing through, preventing it from accumulating on the surface. By channelling fluids away, drainage mats help maintain a safe work environment, minimising accidents caused by slippery surfaces. Additionally, they make cleaning easier, as any debris can be conveniently flushed away or collected for proper disposal.
A drainage mat offers many benefits beyond managing liquid and keeping a walking surface safe and non-slip. These mats provide excellent business benefits across various industries, from enhanced safety to improved hygiene and comfort. Let's look at them in more detail:
Using drainage mats significantly reduces the risk of workplace slips, trips, and falls. With water flow going through the drainage layer and away from the surface, they provide a secure walking area for a safer environment in wet zones. The textured, multi-directional patterns or raised studs on the mats also enhance traction, further reducing accidents and injuries.
Hygiene and cleanliness
Drainage mats are crucial in maintaining a clean and hygienic work environment. They prevent spills and moisture from spreading, making cleanup easier and more efficient. Additionally, many drainage mats or drainage tiles feature anti-microbial properties for all wet or hygienic areas that stop bacteria or mould growth.
Comfort and fatigue reduction
Having to stand for long periods can cause discomfort and fatigue, leading to potential health issues for employees and decreased productivity. Drainage mats offer low-maintenance cushioning and support, relieving pressure on the feet, legs, joints, and lower back.
High-traffic areas, heavy machinery, and frequent soil, debris, or moisture spills can cause damage to floors over time. Drainage mats act as a barrier, protecting the flooring underneath from excessive wear and tear, scratches, scuffs, and stains, extending the floor's lifespan. They can also help to save money on costly repairs or replacements.
Plenty of drainage mats are available, each suitable for meeting specific workplace needs and environments. Understanding the different types and their uses can help you choose the most appropriate option for your requirements.
Rubber drainage mats
Rubber drainage mats are a popular – and the most common – choice due to their durability, versatility, and reliable drainage. These mats are resistant to chemicals, oils, and grease, making them the perfect choice for industrial settings, and they provide excellent traction. Rubber drainage mats are available in various sizes and configurations, allowing you to choose the most appropriate option based on your needs.
Interlocking drainage mats
Interlocking drainage mats offer the advantage of customisation and flexibility to suit your workspace. They consist of individual rubber or PVC tiles that are easily connected to create matting that can cover large or irregularly shaped areas. The interlocking connection ensures a secure and stable surface, allowing easy installation, removal, and reconfiguring.
Anti-Fatigue drainage mats
Anti-fatigue drainage mats are designed to provide comfort and reduce fatigue for employees who stand for long periods. Many mats have anti-fatigue and cushioning properties that relieve stress on the body's joints and muscles, promoting better blood circulation and reducing discomfort. By reducing fatigue, these mats contribute to a more comfortable work environment.
Grease-resistant drainage mats
Grease-resistant drainage mats are specifically engineered for environments with oil, grease, or other slippery substances. As grease and oil can cause standard rubber to degrade, this type of specialist rubber or PVC mat is resistant to these effects, ensuring longevity and functionality. The raised, multi-directional pattern and bevelled edge enhance traction, making them suitable for commercial kitchens, food processing facilities, and other areas where grease and oil spills are common.
When choosing a drainage mat for your business, it's essential to consider your requirements. Rubber drainage mats are known for their durability, making them suitable for many industrial environments. PVC mats are lightweight and easy to clean, so they’re ideal for commercial kitchens or areas with frequent spills.
Mats that are easy to clean and maintain will save you time and effort in the long run. Choose mats that can be easily washed or hosed down for efficient cleaning. Also, consider the size and configuration of the mat and whether it needs to meet walls, ensuring it fits the designated area and provides adequate coverage.
Lastly, factor in any specific needs of your industry. For example, use a grease-resistant drainage mat if your business deals with oily or greasy substances. If your employees stand for extended periods, anti-fatigue drainage mats provide additional comfort and support.
Proper installation and maintenance are essential to having effective and long-lasting drainage mats. Follow these steps for a successful installation and effective maintenance.
Prepare the area: Remove any existing mats or obstructions and ensure the floor is clean, dry, and free of debris.
Position your mats: Lay out the drainage mats in the desired area, ensuring they align properly and cover the workspace sufficiently when laid. If using interlocking mats, connect the tiles securely for stability.
Regular cleaning: Regularly sweep or vacuum the mats to remove dust and dirt and prevent dirt from clogging the drainage holes.
Thorough cleaning: Remove the mats and hose them down with water or use a pressure washer for a deeper clean.
Air drying: Allow the mats to air dry completely before relaying them on the floor.
Damage inspection: Regularly inspect your mats for any signs of wear, damage, or loose connections. Replace any damaged mats as soon as possible.
Investing in high-quality drainage mats or tiles is a smart choice, allowing your business to prioritise the well-being of all employees, reduce the likelihood of accidents and injuries, and increase comfort levels. All in all, a drainage mat or tile system can be a hugely practical solution for managing excess water and other liquids in your workplace.
With our range of rubber and PVC drainage matting, MatsDirect UK offers options to keep your business safe and protected. For more information on choosing the right mat for your business, contact MatsDirect UK today. Send us a message, call the team on 0161 797 6785, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll give you all the advice and support you need.
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