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Slip and fall prevention is usually the main concern in wet and oily working environments. Notrax explain the ins and outs on everything

from traction and fatigue to tackling the “ball-bearing” effect. Slips, trips and falls are responsible for 20-30% of the accidents which cause the long-term interruption of work. Loss of productivity is often an unfortunate side effect too, with nearly 30% of same-level falls resulting in more than 21 workdays lost.

The four main causes of slips and trips 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.


DECREASING DEBRIS Floors can become dangerously slippery when they are wet or exposed to oil or grease, due to a condition where

at the moment of shoe touchdown, a fluid or film is trapped under the shoe. In other words, the foot, as it descends, has no traction, and so an uncontrolled skid occurs and the person loses control and falls. Wet sources of contamination can be addressed by increasing traction on the floor through footwear and slip- resistant matting.

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 called ‘boulder dust’, because they act as miniature ball bearings when caught between a hard floor surface and a smooth shoe sole. The shoe loses its traction due to the “ball bearing” effect, so the person loses control and falls. Dry contamination includes dusts, powders, granules, and other small objects, such as metal nuts and bolts spilt onto the floor.

ANTI-FATIGUE Standing on hard surfaces for long periods can lead to several problems; standing causes muscles to constrict, which reduces the blood flow, making muscles and joints hurt and causing 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 occurs highest in workers who stand four hours or more per day.

Prof. Redha Taiar (2011), at the University of Reims in France, noted


imbalance as a second cause of fatigue. In addition to the overuse of the same muscles, when the system is out of balance, the muscles must work harder to search for balance and the quick reaction speed is maintained at the cost of energy. Without a mat, there is a dysfunction in the balance of a person, which is very harmful for the human body, but the use of anti-fatigue mats enables a uniform distribution between the right and left leg.

THE NOTRAX SOLUTION Notrax Floormatting has a dedicated line of anti-fatigue matting with extra traction and drainage characteristics specifically for dry, wet, greasy or oily areas with slippery floors. The industrial matting is built to withstand harsh industrial settings, manufactured in specialised compounds to meet the distinct needs of various industrial or production environments.

This variation allows companies to select only their specialized product characteristics needed, keeping matting for general applications affordable, yet offering extremely specialized matting solutions too. The compounds connect seamlessly for easy transitions, and the Notrax product stamps clearly mark each mat with the product number and compound characteristics, making it easy to distinguish between the various compounds.

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