Finding the perfect anti-fatigue mat can be as challenging as searching for a needle in a haystack! With a wide range of options available, it can be overwhelming to choose the right one for your needs. Don’t worry though, we’ve got you covered with our comprehensive Anti-Fatigue Mats Complete Guide that will help you pick the ideal mat for your requirements.
Why the Need for Anti-Fatigue Mats?
Standing for extended periods of time can lead to musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs), which are the most prevalent work-related conditions in the EU. Almost half (45%) of EU workers report feeling tired from standing at work.
MSDs can cause discomfort in muscles, joints, and bones, resulting in restricted movement and reduced productivity.
In 2021/22 MSDs accounted for 27% of all work related ill health cases. (source: HSE Work-related ill health and occupational disease in Great Britain)
Anti-Fatigue mat have been scientifically proven to help reduce problems associated with MSDs.
The Uses of and Benefits of Anti-Fatigue Mats
- Studies show 86% of people said that anti-fatigue mats helped reduce pain or serious health complaints of staff
- 82% believed anti-fatigue mats improved productivity in their workforce
- 23% confirmed that worker sick days had reduced due to using anti-fatigue mats
(Source: Coba Standing at Work Survey 2018)
- Anti-Fatigue mats are ideally used in areas where workers have to stand for prolonged periods of time
- Use anti-fatigue mats in a variety of different areas with hard floors
Our Anti-Fatigue Mats Complete Guide covers some of the most common situations where using anti-fatigue mats is of benefit.
Wet or Dry Area Anti-Fatigue Mats
The Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 (HSWA) requires employers to provide a safe work environment for employees and visitors alike. Wet areas, like kitchen and bar areas, can pose a particular slip and fall risk. Suitable anti-fatigue mat choices are as follows:
- Opt for mats that remain slip-resistant even when wet.
- Look for mats with holes that allow water and debris to drain away from the standing area.
- Choose mats made of closed cell construction to prevent water and liquid absorption, which can cause damage or rot over time.
When selecting an anti-fatigue mat for a dry area, it’s essential to ensure that the mat provides adequate support and is the appropriate size and shape for the space it will be used. You should also consider the following:
- Holes in the mat can reduce the risk of slip and trip hazards caused by debris, grit, or swarf, as they will be trapped below the standing surface.
- non-slip properties are crucial as spillages, water, and dirt can be brought indoors on footwear, making the surface slippery.
Anti-Fatigue Mats for Awareness
To enhance safety measures, designated walkways can be marked with coloured anti-fatigue mats or coloured edges. The most commonly used colour for visible edging is yellow, as it is highly visible and helps users identify the mat’s edges to minimise trip hazards.
Anti-Fatigue Mats for Stand Up Desks
As more workplaces acknowledge the health advantages of stand-up desks for their employees, Anti-Fatigue mats can be used to enhance the experience. Sitting at work all day, also known as “sitting down disease,” is considered to be as detrimental to people’s health as smoking.
Placing Anti-Fatigue mats behind the desks can provide comfort and enable people to stand longer.
Anti-Fatigue Mats for Production Lines, Workstations and Custom Size Areas
Anti-fatigue roll matting is the perfect choice for production lines, assembly lines, and warehouse aisles. It is available in fixed widths, usually 2, 3, and 4 feet, and sold in rolls that can be cut to the required length. This allows users to cover long stretches with a single piece of matting, rather than multiple smaller mats that may shift or pose a tripping hazard.
When placing a mat in front of a workstation where the user remains stationary for extended periods, smaller fixed-size mats such as 2×3, 3×5, or 4×6 feet can be used. It’s important to note that the smaller the mat, the more limited the person’s movement will be.
If you need anti-fatigue matting for an area with a custom shape or size, or where workers move between workstations, modular tiles may be the best option. These tiles can be connected together to fit any area shape or size. Edge and corner pieces are also available, allowing the edges of the mat to be bevelled for safety.
Anti-Fatigue Mats for Areas with Grease, Oils and Chemicals
When working with grease, oil, or chemicals in facilities such as commercial kitchens or manufacturing plants, the risk of slip and fall accidents is often higher. In these areas, it is crucial to select anti-fatigue mats with the following characteristics:
- Choose mats with an anti-slip surface that remains effective even when exposed to liquids like grease, oil or chemicals.
- Opt for mats with holes that allow the liquids to drain through the mat and onto the floor below, keeping the surface dry and slip-resistant.
- Use mats made of materials that resist the liquids they may be exposed to. Nitrile rubber mats, for example, are known for their grease and oil resistance, as well as their chemical resistance. Other mats that are not resistant to these liquids may deteriorate, crack, curl or lose their slip-resistant or anti-fatigue properties, creating additional hazards.
Anti-Fatigue Mats for Working with Electrical Equipment
Anti-fatigue matting designed to protect workers and equipment from electric shock or damage caused by electrostatic discharge (ESD) is available. To control the electric current, ground cords and heel or wrist grounders can be attached to the mats and/or users.
It is important to note that ESD matting is distinct from switchboard matting or anti-static matting, which have different properties and abilities in controlling electric currents.
There are 4 classifications of electrical matting:
- 103 105 Electrically Conductive. The most common ESD matting. No initial charge, provides a channel for the charge to bleed away.
- 105 109 Static Dissipative. Low initial charge, discharges to or from human contact.
- 109 1012 Anti Static. Charges are suppressed, not eliminated. Will not protect against high voltage shocks.
- > 1013 Insulative. Not classed as ESD.
Mat Recommendations: Contact us for individual advice
Anti-Fatigue Mats for Aesthetics
Anti-fatigue mats are usually designed with a functional purpose in mind, which is why they tend to have an industrial look. However, there may be situations where an industrial mat may not fit the desired aesthetic. This is particularly true for front-of-house areas in hotels and bars, or when used in an office setting with stand-up desks.
To address this, some manufacturers now offer anti-fatigue mats in a range of styles, patterns, and colours. These mats are not only functional but can also be aesthetically pleasing and complement the design of a building.
Durability and Cost of Anti-Fatigue Mats
Anti-fatigue mats are composed of various materials that can impact their cost, appropriateness for their intended use, and durability. In many cases, the cost and durability of anti-fatigue mats are interrelated. A more expensive mat is typically more durable, although there are exceptions to this rule. Conversely, a lower-cost mat may not necessarily provide good value, since the mat’s lifespan and durability should be taken into account when assessing its overall worth.
Durable, higher cost, anti-fatigue mats tend to have the following features:
- Typically made from rubber or polyurethane
- Superior ergonomic anti-fatigue properties
- High resistance to grease, oils and chemicals
- Thick, closed-cell cushioning
- Guarantee of 3 years +
On the flip side, budget anti-fatigue matting tends to have the following features:
- Typically made from PVC or blown vinyl
- Little anti-fatigue benefit which quickly lessens through use
- Little resistance to grease, oils and chemicals
- Thinner, open-cell cushioning
- Guarantee of 1 year
Mat Recommendation: Remedy Standard
Anti-Fatigue Mats Complete Guide Next Steps
Need more help? We hope our Anti-Fatigue Mats Complete Guide has helped you make an informed choice with regards to anti-fatigue matting. If you would like further advice, please do not hesitate to contact us by telephone or via our contact form.
This guide is part of our Complete Guides to Mats series, which includes the following:
- Entrance Mats Complete Guide
- Rubber Mats Complete Guide
- Retail Mats Complete Guide
- Coir Matting Ultimate Guide
- Chair Mats Best UK Chair Mats Guide
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