BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — Adam Strizzi, contributing writer, discusses how having the right matting in place can help prevent accidents at the carwash in the December feature, “Staying safe and sound.”

“According to the University of Wisconsin (UW), slips, trips and falls constitute the majority of general industry accidents in the U.S.,” explains Strizzi in the article. “Over the past several years in Wisconsin, as in most states, these specific accidents make up one of the top five causes for worker’s compensation claims.”

Slips, trips and falls can even be more harmful in a professional carwash where water and protruding surfaces are common, continues Strizzi in the article, adding that much of this water may become ice during the winter months, increasing chances for broken bones, head and back injuries as well as cuts and lacerations.

“Employers at a carwash location can prevent slip-and-fall accidents in several ways, and it all starts with creating a culture of safety,” says Strizzi in the article. “This is done by educating everyone about how these accidents occur, how to prevent them as well as how their own responsibility plays a part in avoiding slips and falls.”

In addition to keeping facilities, especially in work and customer areas, as clean as possible and wearing slip-resistant footwear designed for use in an industrial setting, carwashes should invest in quality floor matting to help ensure safe operations, states Strizzi.

“When many owners and managers think of mats, they invariably think of the small, three-by-five-foot mats placed at an entry door,” says Strizzi in the article. “What many do not know is there are several different types of mats in a variety of sizes that are perfect for use in a professional carwash.”

In the article, Strizzi offers a list of mat types that can withstand the often harsh environment of a carwash:

  • Bi-level mats: As the name implies, these mats consist of two levels. Usually placed in entries and busy walkways, such as between a customer and service area at a carwash, bi-level mats capture soil and moisture which are then deposited below the surface of the mat. This helps prevent these contaminants from coming into a facility or spreading from one area to another.
  • Safety-flow mats: These mats can prove effective in promoting safety, which is one reason they are found in all types of industrial locations. Flow-through mats typically have openings that allow moisture to flow below the surface of the matting. This keeps the walking surface dry, helping to prevent a slip-and-fall accident.
  • Safety-flow with anti-fatigue properties: Similar to the safety-flow mat, another option is the use of what are sometimes referred to as “dura step” mats. This type allows moisture to flow through, but it is also an anti-fatigue mat. For employees in a carwash who must stand while working, these mats not only promote safety but can improve worker productivity as well.
  • Grit-safe mats: This type, which is specially designed for slippery workstations, allows moisture to flow through the mat; it also helps prevent the transfer of soils. As mentioned, moisture and soil are prime ingredients for a slippery floor.

You can read the entire December feature on carwash matting here.