Posted at 13-Aug-2020

Time to think positive about ergonomic flooring

Paul Skade
By Jon Whitehouse
Director, Industrial MRO and Safety

Having started in the Electrical industry in 1995 my early career developed holding a variety of roles from technical support through to business development with...

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Maximum productivity is the aim. Or it should be. But to achieve this, there are many considerations. Is your machinery suitable for the application? Is it running efficiently? Is your equipment being maintained correctly? But beyond the hardware of your plant lies a more important factor. Your employees. So, surely the safety and satisfaction of your staff should be a top priority too. Afterall, without them, what can you really achieve?

 

With that being said, increasing the safety and comfort of your team, and preventing or minimising the associated risks, is vital to attaining your productivity goals. And there are two ‘floor’less solutions to ease their concerns: ergonomic matting and ergonomic flooring.

The Monday blues

I think I speak for most when we say that many of us aren’t overly keen on Monday mornings. After a nice relaxing weekend, imagine knowing you’re walking into a workplace where you’re going to be uncomfortable for a minimum of eight hours. Doesn’t sound too appealing does it?

A previous study from Wearwell indicated that one subject was experiencing issues with high injury rates and high rates of absenteeism - particularly on Monday mornings where it was as high as 10%, even though it was the largest and best in terms of wages and employee benefits within a 48km radius.

So, what was the issue? Common responses included: the quality and hardness of the work surface; level of fatigue during and after shifts; and discomfort of joints during and after work.

Ergonomic matting was installed, and the workers were requested to report back at regular intervals over a one-year period. And the results spoke for themselves. Perceptions quickly changed, with employees reporting less fatigue during and after work, and sensitive areas of the body – feet, knees, legs and lower back – feeling much less strained.

This resulted in higher levels of productivity - an estimated 2.2% - based on lower absenteeism and injury, and a reduction of approximately £38k in insurance premiums. An overall annual saving of £228,060 was achieved over the course of the study (1 year).

Is it right for you?

Making the right decision on your ergonomic matting or flooring isn’t easy. Different products suit different areas. They all have different benefits. The unfortunate fact is that the majority of mats and flooring are black, but don’t be fooled. Not all products are the same.

 

At Wearwell, great due care and attention is taken to ensure that products are fit for purpose. For example, you have the Locksafe® Solid and Drainage, suitable for different environments; you have the NBR (Nitrile Rubber) and GR (Grease Resistant) compounds, suitable for different surfaces; and you have products with or without GRITSHIELD™ designed for extra traction.

Traditional rubber products operate with a passive lay-in system, where the connectors nest inside one and other. This can cause endless problems, by providing only minimal security. Any upward movement, for example, a slight kick, pivoting traffic, a missed step, and certainly picking up the mats, the connection would be lost, tiles would separate, and a trip hazard would be formed.

Que 24/Seven® LockSafe® from Wearwell.

Lock it. Leave it.

A forward step in safety, the difference with 24/Seven® LockSafe® is in the connections. We’re positive.

 

Installation has also never been easier. With the flooring, simply connect the tiles and trim them to accommodate your space. The simple ramp system is provided in separate sections, allowing the sides and corners to be quickly and effortlessly adjoined with the need for adhesives and fasteners removed. Yes, it’s time to scrap those annoying cable ties forever.

 

And for the matting, you lay it down and roll it out like a rug. It can even be made to specific lengths, widths and shapes.

Easy to maintain

Thanks to the simple locking design, maintenance is effortless. As individual tiles can be removed, should a section of flooring become damaged, it can be switched out in the blink of an eye. This offers savings in terms of replacement materials, as just the single panel needs exchanging; installation costs, as minimal time is required; and increased productivity.

Overall, choosing to opt for ergonomic matting or flooring certainly comes with its positives. Providing the comfort that ultimately leads to better morale, higher levels of productivity, health and well-being and increased savings.

What more could you ask for than a happy workforce and lower costs? If you would like to discuss your options, please do not hesitate to contact one of our MRO & Safety Equipment specialists on 0121 508 6000 or check out our range of ergomic matting and flooring on our Webshop by CLICKING HERE.

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