Anti-Fatigue Matting: June 2017 Safety & Hygiene Corner

Question:

I know there are not “standards”…but are there any recommendations concerning anti-fatigue matting for an employee who stands in one area a given length of time?

Answer:

There are no standards, but there here are some good recommendations:

  • First, check shoe wear – always recommend tuft gum sole, and heel – both provide support and are slip and chemical resistance
  • If you have an employee standing in an area more than one hour straight, a mat or other measures should be employed.
  • Or if an employee stands 50 % of the time on a job, a sit stand should be provided (if appropriate) or a foot rails to rest lower extremities, are a good option.
  • Anti-fatigue matting should be at least 1 inch thick – with tapered edges
  • Also mating needs to be placed on a preventative maintenance program for wear and tear issues.
  • Be sure the mat is easy to clean
  • Anti-fatigue mats are engineered to make the body naturally and imperceptibly sway, which encourages subtle movement of the leg muscles. This promotes blood flow and prevents stagnation in the veins – and, incidentally, burns more calories! So, what you’re looking for in a mat is one that’s not so hard it discourages muscle movement, but not so springy it requires too much energy to maintain balance, creating a different kind of stress.

There are 2 key words for prolonged standing risk factors – is the type of posture and repetition being completed by the employee.

The monthly Safety and Hygiene Corner is written by Ohio BWC experts for local Ohio Safety Council programs.

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