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Manufacturing Innovative Matting Products
Manufacturing Innovative Matting Products

Notrax® Ergonomic Anti-Fatigue and Safety Matting

Notrax® offers the perfect solution for standing workers because, like no other producer of mats, we understand the difference of perception of workers as well as the varieties of workplace conditions that exist as well as the variety of workplace designs for individual work benches, to large assembly lines or complex manufacturing work stations.

Work place environments can vary from dry areas to wet or extremely oily areas. Plus specialized industries may need additional properties such as fire retardant matting for welding, static dissipative matting for Electrostatic discharge (ESD) protection, anti-microbial for food industry applications.

Notrax® matting is designed take the physical size and preferences of the worker into account to provide the right balance between softness for comfort and hardness for stability, traction for anti-slip while allowing freedom of movement. Notrax® matting is available in standard sizes, linear lengths, rolls, interlocking modular systems, and custom sizes in any form or shape that you can imagine. That is the advantage of working directly with the manufacturer.

View the entire range of Notrax® Ergonomic Anti-fatigue and Safety Matting

View the Notrax® Ergonomic Anti-Fatigue and Safety Matting catalog available in multiple languages


Benefits of anti-fatigue matting

How an anti-fatigue mat works is well described in an article that was published in the April 1999 issue of “Occupational Health & Safety”, written by James M. Kendrick: “Anti-fatigue mats are engineered to make the body naturally and imperceptibly sway, which encourages subtle movement by calf and leg muscles. This promotes blood flow and keeps it from stagnating in the veins, which causes workers to feel fatigued.”

Standing on hard surfaces for long periods can lead to several problems. First, standing causes muscles to constrict, which reduces the blood flow. This makes muscles and joints hurt, and it causes blood to stagnate.

In addition, long-term standing causes pronation, or excessive flattening of the foot. While this can be simply tiring and a bit painful, it can also lead to plantar fasciitis and other serious foot conditions. Lower back pain is highest in workers who stand 4 hours or more per day.

As noted by Mr. Kendrick, the cushioning effect of anti-fatigue matting allows continuous micro-movements of the feet, which minimizes blood pooling in the legs. This may also go hand-in-hand with the desire to reduce slips and falls. The floor mat may also provide relief from cold/damp conditions. There is good reason to believe that reduction of fatigue also reduces the possibility of accidents and improves general work efficiency. There are fewer days lost to injuries, fewer medical claims, and compliance with new health & safety requirements.

Too much cushioning can have a negative effect. Too great an amount of softness or “give” will actually cause excessive fatigue because it overworks the muscles.  Think of it like jogging on the beach as an extreme example of this concept. Notrax® floor mats are made of specific formulations and designs that provide fatigue relief which will contribute to increased productivity and employee satisfaction.

Read more about the benefits of anti-fatigue matting


Scientific Support

In many industries, employees are required to work while standing, walking and/or carrying loads. Lower extremity discomfort and fatigue from forced long term standing and walking is a problem often identified, but seldom documented.

Early studies such as Morgora (1972) showed that the incidence of low back pain was highest in those workers who stood regularly every working day for periods of more than four hours and Bousseman et al. (1982) brought to light that long term standing is a direct cause of pain and discomfort. Subsequent research carried by Dr. Mark Redfern and Dr. Don Chaffin at the Center for Ergonomics, University of Michigan in 1988, and Paula Hinnen and Stephan Konz at the Department of Industrial Engineering, Kansas State University, 1994, made observations of the difference between standing on hard floors versus standing on soft floors. Both their studies concluded that mats significantly affect fatigue and comfort in different body regions.

Standing Smart

A recent study conducted by Prof. Dr. Redha Taiar (2011) at the University of Reims in France showed how human mechanics in a working environment are impacted through the use of anti-fatigue mats.

Professor Taiar emphasized that “without a mat there is a dysfunction in the balance of a person which can cause pathologies that are accelerated by a repetitive task and other constraining work".

Such unbalance is very harmful for the human body. The use of anti-fatigue mats enables correct balancing and a uniform distribution between the right and left leg. Prof. Taiar’s findings confirmed that pains are substantially reduced with the use of anti-fatigue mats compared to the initial situation without mats.

Request a copy of the Standing Smart report summar by Prof. Taiar

 

Professor Redha Taiar
University of Reims Champagne

 


Benefits of anti-slip matting

Slips and falls are responsible for 20 to 30% of the accidents that cause long-term interruption of work.

Slip and fall prevention is usually the main concern in wet and oily working environments. Slip and falls are responsible for 20 - 30% of the accidents which cause long-term  interruption of work. Loss of productivity is often an unfortunate side effect with nearly 30% of same-level falls resulting in more than 21 workdays lost.

Four main causes of slips and trips accidents are:
• slippery/wet surfaces caused by water and other fluids;
• slippery surfaces caused by dry or dusty floor contamination, such as sawdust or other debris;
• obstructions, both temporary and permanent;
• uneven surfaces and changes of level, such as unmarked ramps.

However, data from the NIOSH on reported workplace accidents also cited overexertion and repetitive work as a contributing factor to long-term absenteeism. In fact, this cause was almost double the number of reported incidents. Combined, these two factors are the largest cause of non-fatal injury and illness cases involving days away from work.

Source: NIOSH is the federal agency responsible for conducting research and making recommendations to prevent work-related injury, illness, and fatalities. Its mission is to generate new occupational safety and health knowledge and to transfer that knowledge into practice.

Notrax® Floormatting has a dedicated line of anti-fatigue matting that specifically addresses slippery floors as well.

Increasing Traction
Floors can become dangerously slippery when they are wet or exposed to oil or grease. This is due to a condition where at the moment of shoe touchdown, a fluid or film is trapped under the shoe. This phenomenon is similar to an automobile hydroplaning. In other words, the foot, as it descends, has no traction. An uncontrolled skid occurs. The person loses control and falls. Wet sources of contamination include water, oils, grease, and soap from cleaning solutions.
This can be addressed by increasing traction on the floor through footwear and slip resistant matting.

Removing Debris
Floors can also become slippery due to dry or dusty floor contamination, such as sawdust or other debris that accumulates on the surface. Sand, bits of gravel and dirt are commonly

Particularly in the food processing industry the biggest problem is that floors must be smooth to facilitate cleaning and disinfecting. But, “the presence of water, vegetable oils, animal fats, blood, flour, and various biological waste makes these grounds extremely dangerous and the falls are all the more serious as employees often handle blunt objects”, underlines Henri Saulnier, head of IET (Work Equipment Engineering) at the French INRS.

Just cleaning of floors is not enough to prevent floors from getting slippery. Wildbrett & Sauer (1992) observed that even coated anti-slip floors in contact with for example, milk products, become clogged after cleaning due to an accumulation of microscopic residual stains (protein, grease). One would have to keep on changing floors to ensure the effectiveness of an anti-slip coating. Notrax® floor mats are made of specific formulations and with designs that provide good adherence and instant evacuation of fluids, which is a more effective, economical and durable solution to reduce the risk of slip falls.

 

Benefits of ESD matting

There is a growing demand for anti-static solutions in industrial and commercial environments.

Static electricity is everywhere. In many facilities, people are one of the prime generators of static electricity. The simple act of walking around or even sitting on certain types of stools can generate several thousand volts on the human body, especially in the winter when air becomes drier.

Static build-up is usually unnoticed until it is discharged known as Electro-Static Discharge (ESD). Like lightening, static electricity continues to build up and looks for the shortest route to earth. Once discharged, employees can feel an extreme shock. If the discharge was felt, it was probably more than 2000 volts. If the discharge was heard, it could have been between 3000 - 5000 Volts. And if there was a blue spark, the shock was most likely more than
10,000 Volts.

If not properly controlled, static build up can cause unpleasant shocks to employees as well as unseen damage to static sensitive devices and electrical components.

Why the sudden need for ESD?

In the 90’s, computer chips were manufactured with on-chip protection to safeguard them from static discharge. However, onchip protection was removed to make hardware smaller and more sophisticated, causing these higher performance components to become much more vulnerable to electrical interference.

Software component sensitivity, that was once over 1000 Volts, is currently around 50 Volts and even predicted to drop to as little as 25 Volts. Static discharge can cause usually unseen damage to electronic equipment or partially damage or weaken a component resulting in later failure. Preventing static build-up has therefore become a priority for building designers, facility managers and operations leaders.

Plus more and more industries are susceptible to static due to the increased use of technology. Computers in some form are in almost everything these days. From toasters to televisions, from manufacturers to logistics to call centres, just about every industry is prone to static build up and its shocking effects.