We’ve worked with warehouses and material handling facilities all across the United States. And while many of these places are known for their productivity and efficient use of space, very few of them are known for their comfort. It might seem like a little thing that doesn’t matter in the bigger picture of operations within your facility, but comfort is actually something that you shouldn’t overlook or ignore.
- Comfort can actually help increase worker productivity. When workers are happy, they get more done. They take fewer sick days and experience fewer injuries on the job. That means more orders going out the door and happier customers on the other end.
- More comfort can help lower your expenses. Providing workers with additional comfort means fewer worker’s compensation claims from repetitive work injuries or back problems. That can help boost your bottom line in a big way with a small investment.
One small item that can make a big difference in worker comfort are floor mats. These are also often referred to as anti-fatigue mats, for reasons that we’ll explore later in this article. We have a huge selection of them available in the DAK Equipment & Engineering online catalog.
Why Mats Matter
There is a good chance that the floor in your facility is made out of cement. There are a lot of good reasons to use the material, including the fact that’s it is inexpensive and it’s easy to clean. Despite the advantages, though, the major drawback of cement is that it’s not great to stand on for eight, nine, or ten-hour shifts. But floor matting can provide the much-needed comfort underfoot. Not only that, but it can help workers feel less tired during their shift. The mats decrease the impact of the work they are doing, helping them continue their shifts with increased productivity and less fatigue; thus, why these mats are referred to as “anti-fatigue mats.”
The mats work by cushioning the impact of the worker’s feet on the cement floor. Because cement is so hard, there isn’t a lot of forgiveness for the impact of each step. Cushioning in the mats acts like shock absorbers on your car. It reduces the impact on the bones and joints. Many mats will also reduce the risk of slipping, which is another major concern in the warehouse environment and a culprit of many thousands of worker’s compensation claims every year. Cushioning isn’t just good for your worker’s feet, either. The benefits of good floor mats extend to knees, hips, and backs, too. Your team will notice the difference when you start using high-quality mats because they won’t be as sore and tired at the end of a long shift.
Some warehouse managers feel that workers can get the same benefits of mats by simply wearing padded footwear. While wearing the right shoes on the job is important, it’s not the ultimate solution. Workers who stand in place for long periods of time will experience soreness and fatigue in their legs, hips, knees, and feet no matter what kind of footwear they have on; but matting can help relieve those symptoms. Of course, the combination of great footwear and great floor matting is the ultimate comfort combination!
While these mats are great at increasing worker comfort, they are also great at keeping dropped items from breaking, reducing your damaged merchandise. Don’t forget that floor matting can actually be good for your cement floors, too. The concrete of your floor might be hard but it’s not invincible. Dropped and dragged objects can damage the surface of the floor, creating cracks and divots that can spread. Those can create dangerous hazards in your warehouse, putting worker safety at risk. It also means more repair costs coming out of your profits. The right mats can prevent drops and drags from damaging the concrete floor and keep it clean at the same time.
Good mats are easy to clean, as well. Simple sweep off the debris and use a standard mop and cleaner and they’ll look like new again. With regular cleaning, you should be able to use mats for years under normal, everyday usage. That makes them a great investment for your money!
Which Mats Are Right for You?
- Look for mats that are made for your purpose. If you need to reduce slips, buy an anti-slip mat. If reducing worker fatigue is the goal, look for anti-fatigue mats.
- Thicker isn’t always better. Some mats can be so thick that they can make your workers unsteady on their feet. Look for something that provides cushioning and support without being too soft.
- Mats that are made for your busy environment. Many anti-fatigue mats have a sloped edging, which makes them safer to walk on without tripping on the edges. It’s also easier for machinery and carts to get over them.
- Consider their placement. Some mats have drainage slots which are ideal for areas that might get wet and slippery. Other mats are better suited for entrances or in areas that need to be easily cleaned. Think about the environment your mats are going to be in and purchase accordingly.
- Consider your budget. There are mats in every price range on the market. While you might be tempted to save a few pennies when purchasing your floor matting, the cheapest option is rarely the best one. It could end up costing you more in the future with an increase of worker injuries or repeated replacement costs.
DAK Has The Matting You Need
DAK Equipment carries a variety of floor matting you can use around your pallet rack. Check out Diamond Foot, Tru-Tread, Armorstep, bubble mats, and more. All of our floor matting is priced competitively and is easy to install yourself. Simply lay it down in front of your pallet rack and experience the difference great floor matting can make! Place an order in our online store and we’ll send it to you in no time. You can also get in touch with our project manager for additional information on making your warehouse a safer, more comfortable place to work.