Floors and their slip resistance should be given more attention: Tripping, slipping and falling accidents are still among the most common occupational accidents, and with a good 35% of all accidents at work they are at the top of the list of occupational accidents. Every day, around 1,000 people across Germany are injured by a fall at work - often so severely that they are unable to work for more than three days. Nearly 5,000 people are injured so severely each year that they receive a BG pension due to permanent health impairments. About every third new accident pension paid due to a permanent reduction in earning capacity is the result of tripping, slipping and falling accidents. One reason for such incidents is floor coverings without anti-slip properties. Smooth surfaces or insufficient absorption of liquids can lead to hazards. Slip-resistant surfaces are therefore the best guarantee for effective accident prevention. Therefore, the topic of slip resistance is immensely important - also with regard to the entrance mat. 

Palais-Vest in Recklinghausen, red entrance mat

Entrance matting, slip resistance and surefootedness - what is so important?

Slip resistance according to standard: Slip resistance means safety, because it minimizes the risk of falling. Especially in entrance areas, falls occur again and again due to moisture that is carried in and is hardly noticeable. Therefore, the use of slip-resistant coverings, including entrance mats, is important both from a constructional point of view and from the perspective of insurers. Slip-resistance class R 9 is prescribed here, and especially for tiles, the relevant regulations apply in work rooms in commercial/public areas. For the private sector, there is no legal requirement, although this would make perfect sense, because of course accidental falls also occur here. How slip-resistant a tile is can be seen from the slip-resistance classes R 9 to R 13, while classes R 9 and R 10 indicate low to average slip-resistance. R 11 offers a higher slip resistance, and classes R 12 and R 13 mean that you can rely on a very high slip resistance. For wet areas the values A, B and C are added. Class A is suitable for areas that get wet or damp only occasionally. Class B is used in public areas such as shower rooms or swimming pool surrounds, i.e. in wet barefoot areas. Class C is intended for areas that are constantly wet or under water. emco offers entrance mats with varying degrees of slip resistance.

How are the slip resistance classes determined?

The Technical Regulations for Workplaces ASR A1.5/1.2 "Floors" defines classes for slip resistance and liquid displacement of floor coverings and the corresponding basic principles. The already mentioned slip resistance classes R9 to R13 are the result of an experimental measurement. This is the so-called walk-on procedure. The floor covering to be tested is mounted on an inclinable plane and doused with engine oil. The plane is then inclined and it is tested up to which angle of inclination a test person can hold on to the floor covering. A specially designed test shoe is used for the inspection procedure, which is located between the non-slip work shoe and the high heel to cover all areas. Also the entrance mat is passed by every kind of shoe. As soon as an unsafe impression is detected or the test person loses his grip, the test is over. Depending on the angle of inclination achieved, the floor covering is then assigned to an anti-slip class. This also applies to the entrance mat.

Four images with walking feet in foreground, with motion blur

These variants of the slip resistance are available

Floors are as different as their users: Often floor coverings not only have to be slip-resistant, but also meet other requirements. This is why there are numerous different types of application for slip-resistant floor coverings. In warehouses, special work rooms or on stairs, anti-slip floor coverings with warning colors are often used, for example warning marking tapes that are also anti-slip. If workers have to stand a lot during work, anti-slip anti-fatigue floor coverings are used on the floors. Special requirements must also be met by anti-slip coverings in outdoor areas. They must be extremely robust so that they retain their anti-slip properties in all weather conditions. It is therefore always necessary to install the most suitable covering in terms of slip resistance. This starts with the entrance mat.

Entrance mat outdoor

Conclusion: The entrance mat is also important

Whether barefoot areas, workplaces or office workrooms: The ideal slip resistance for optimum slip resistance is achieved when the required slip resistance class is at least met or exceeded - and the adjacent floor coverings are well matched to each other. This starts with the entrance mat. Finally, a note on the influence of shoe soles with regard to slipping: In the test to determine the R-classes, the test person wears a standardized test shoe. In practice, however, a wide variety of different shoe soles are used. In workplaces with a high risk of slipping and/or heavy abrasion, a shoe with a special anti-slip sole is potentially mandatory. However, high heels can also be used in entrances to administrative buildings. For this reason, it is advisable to install flooring with the best possible anti-slip properties, at least in some areas. This is the only way to prevent accidents - at best with an entrance mat from emco.

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