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Industrial workplace matsPrint

Standing at work: better on special mats

Sales staff, hairdressers, surgical teams and in particular industrial workers are just some examples of the 16.5 million people in Germany who according to the BAuA (Federal Institute for Occupational Safety and Health) have a job that means they spend all or most of the day on their feet. Standing is deemed to be safe but it can harm the body if exaggerated. The strains then acting on the body can cause problems with muscles and joints, backache, varicose veins and even circulatory complaints. It is of course not possible to do away with standing jobs; on the other hand, workplaces can be designed for standing to be far less of a burden. The contribution made in this respect by special workplace mats with cushioning properties is explained in this document.

Industrial rubber mats protect the joints and boost efficiency

Ergonomically cushioning workplace mats make a positive contribution to the working conditions of millions of people who have to stand in their job. The elasticity of the mats is rated according to human physiology and relieves the spinal column as well as the ankle, knee and hip joints. As another positive side effect, concentration and efficiency levels are sustained over a longer period of time and can thus reduce the time staff have to take off work; in the end this can also enhance motivation.

Hard surfaces cause muscle fatigue

It's quite easy to explain how it works: muscles get tired very quickly on a hard surface. As a result, they fail to provide the necessary support for the spinal column which gets out of balance. This increases the pressure on the intervertebral discs which leads to painful tension. The reduced levels of muscle activity in the legs mean that there is no longer adequate support to keep the blood flowing back out of the veins. The body's "muscle pump" gradually stops working, resulting in tired and heavy legs with painful blood congestion. There is a risk here of varicose veins and circulatory problems.

Staying fit longer without tiring so quickly

Ergonomic industrial workplace mats can prevent these problems. They reduce jolting impacts and their special surface stimulates intuitive compensatory movements. This has two positive effects: on the one hand, the muscle pump in the legs keeps going and ensures the circulatory system works properly. On the other hand, more balanced demands are made of the muscles surrounding the spinal column, avoiding any one-sided pressure on the intervertebral discs. At the same time there is less pressure on the ankle, knee and hip joints.

Ergonomics and occupational safety

But ergonomic workplace mats take account of more than just health aspects. They also play a significant role in occupational safety, as long as they have a non-slip surface to prevent them from compounding the risk of falls. Another advantage is that any tools or products that are dropped are also protected from damage.

Ergonomic industrial workplace mats can be designed with different surface geometries for use in dry, damp or rotating workplaces. In the interests of long service lives, they should be able to withstand high loads, offer maximum safety when walked on with low turning resistance and have particularly flat edges.

Checklist

  • One of the most important tasks for the industrial workplace mat is to reduce jolting effects when standing, walking or turning in order to counteract premature fatigue in feet, legs and back. Muscles will be less tense and swollen legs will be far less of a problem.
  • The mat must be made of elastic material and yield appropriately under loads. This relieves the pressure on the joints. However, it is important for the worker to stand securely, which means that the elastic properties may not be exaggerated. This protects the ligaments at the joints: they are put under too much strain if the mat is very soft, which in the long term could lead to stretched ligaments.
  • The elasticity and surface structure of the mat activate the muscles in the legs and particularly in the calves. Harmful stress reactions from constant strain on the musculoskeletal system are avoided.
  • For the worker to stand safely, it is important for the industrial workplace mats to offer good slip resistance. The surface structure also enhances an awareness for the edges, although the height of the mat may not cause an additional stumbling hazard.
  • To ensure that industrial workplace mats can be used in a wide range of different situations, their properties may not be impaired by cold, heat and moisture, by dry environments or by being used outside. They must also withstand chemicals, oil, grease and similar substances. Preferably the manufacturer should offer the possibility of advance trials for the specific application. The mats should be easy to clean and need no maintenance.
  • Not all workplaces are the same, which is why it must be possible to adapt the industrial workplace mats to the individual circumstances. This may entail cutting the mats individually to size, or they can be fitted in a puzzle pattern. This is the easiest way to fit  mats over larger areas, always taking care to ensure that the mats lie securely on the surface and won't slip.

Minimum requirements

  • Cushioning properties to reduce fatigue in the feet, legs and back
  • Elastic properties
  • No additional pressure on the knees when turning and walking
  • Non-slip surfaces
  • Suitable for use in extreme cold and heat
  • Flame retardant
  • UV resistant and waterproof
  • Resistant to most kinds of oil and grease and to many chemicals
  • Surface structure that enhances the deliberate perception of edges
  • Height that avoids any additional stumbling hazard
  • User-friendly connection solutions with trip-proof transitions

Also appropriate

  • High wear-resistance
  • Suitable for use in food and hygiene areas
  • Electrically conductive properties
  • Different degrees of hardness within a workplace mat
  • Digital modules for differing noise levels when walked on
  • Easy to clean

Products in this sector with the AGR seal of approval

Manufacturer

KRAIBURG Austria GmbH & Co. KG
ERGOLASTEC
Webersdorf 11
5132 Geretsberg
AUSTRIA
Phone +43 7748/72410
Fax +43 7748/724111
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
www.matting-systems.at/en

Pictures

Workplace mats protect the back and joints and increase the performance ability.

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