Floored by tiles and mats? Explaining the best entrance systems

Building owners can install heavy-duty carpet tiles at the entrance as an inexpensive way to prevent dirt and debris from traveling throughout the facility.

Minimize slip and fall hazards
At busy hospitals and schools, safety is a key concern—guiding entrance flooring decisions. Slip and fall accidents cost organizations time, money, and reputation. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, “falls, slips, and trips accounted for 27 percent (309,060 cases) of the total occupational injuries and illnesses in 2015,” making these accidents a significant liability issue. (For more information on the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ 2015 study, “Nonfatal Occupational Injuries and Illnesses Requiring Days Away from Work,” visit www.bls.gov/news.release/osh2.nr0.htm.) These risk-reducing entrance flooring options are often an afterthought in building design and function. In the value-engineering phase of construction, these options are often eliminated first to cut costs. When considering the average cost of a slip, trip, or fall claim—which is $20,000—excluding an entrance flooring system from the building may be far more expensive in the long run. (To read more about slip, trip, and fall claims, visit BIC Magazine’s article, “Business Cost of Slips, Trips and Falls.”)

Depending on the level of moisture being tracked into the building, carpet tiles can contribute to slipping accidents because incoming water and debris sit on the surface. Therefore, friction decreases and slipping hazards increase as the tiles become more saturated. Carpet tiles can also become dislodged or begin to fold at the corners, becoming an additional liability. It is important to invest in a powerful adhesive solution so carpet tiles will not become dislodged in inclement weather.

Entrance mats and grids can deliver a safer, smoother walking surface. When properly maintained, they trap dirt, debris, and moisture under the surface. This helps maintain traction so visitors and occupants of buildings are less likely to slip. As entrance mats and grids can either be recess-mounted or surface-mounted with a powerful adhesive, there is less risk for the product to become dislodged and pose an additional threat to building occupants.

Maintain a clean facility while keeping costs down
The geographic location plays an important role in the type of entrance flooring system one chooses. Weather conditions can range from snow, ice, and rain to dust and sand, or can be a combination of many elements.

It is given these weather elements will work their way into the entrance area. If it has carpet tiles, those substances may sit on the surface, risking an unsightly mess. Cleaning staff can get locked in a seemingly endless battle to keep the carpet tiles clean. Luckily, carpet tiles are easy and inexpensive to replace, so if a tile is ruined from excessive moisture, installing a new one is simple. Further, because carpet tiles are made from stiff, coarse materials, they are ideal for buildings in dry environments.

Like carpet tiles, entrance mats and grids are designed to help facility managers maintain a clean entryway. Facility crews simply roll back or lift the entrance flooring and then vacuum dirt and debris from the recessed area to clean it. This reduces the time spent on maintenance and can create a safer walkway.

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