How the Bill Americans with Disabilities Act Impacts Your Professional Mat Service
The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1992 may raise questions regarding the use of mats in public places, where entrances and exits must be kept free of hazards.
We would like to present you with some facts regarding our Professional Mat Service and how our mats comply with the requirements set by the ADA
Americans with Disabilities Act
“Ground and floor surfaces along accessible routes and in accessible rooms and spaces including floors, walks, ramps, stairs, and curb ramps, shall be stable, firm, slip-resistant, and shall comply with 4.5.”
“…Changes in level between 1/4 inch and 1/2 inch shall be beveled with a slope no greater then 1:2…”
“…Maximum pile thickness (height) shall be 1/2 inch…”
“If carpet or carpet tile is used on a ground or floor surface, then it shall be securely attached…Exposed edges of carpet shall be fastened to floor surfaces and have trim along the entire length of the exposed edge.
Fact 1: Our Professional Mat Service provides mats that have a stable, firm, skid-resistant surface.
By design, our mats meet the change in level, pile height and Static Coefficient of Friction requirements of the ADA.
Our mats help collect and contain the dirt, grit, and moisture that could otherwise contribute to slip and fall accidents.
Fact 2: Rental mats are not carpets. Sections 4.5.3 of the ADA may raise questions regarding the use of rental mats in public access areas. We would like to give you the facts surrounding this topic.
It is the opinion of former Assistant Attorney General W. Lee Rawls, United States Department of Justice, that “Rental mats are not considered carpeting, and therefore, are not subject to the requirements” of ADA Section 4.5.3.
Attorneys for the two leading textile rental associations, the Uniform & Textile Service Association and the Textile Rental Service Association, also conclude that is is not necessary to permanently affix rental mats to a floor surface.
There are many purchased mats that do not meet the requirements of the ADA, and it is recommended that these be removed:
Unbeveled or unbacked matting
Rippled vinyl-backed mats
Please be aware of “self-styled” ADA experts, especially those urging your to remove rental mats. Remember, the ADA does not state that rental mats must be removed.
Fact 3: Rental mats, when properly placed and maintained, enhance accessibility.
The former Assistant Attorney General also stated that “If movable floor mats impede access for people with disabilities, they may need to be moved or removed.”
It is important that all mats be placed correctly so they do not create a trip hazard. Our Professional Mat Service program helps ensure the correct placement of your mats. Please remove rippled or torn mats and report them to our route personnel.
Together, we can make our country safer and more accessible for all Americans.
Architects, designers and owners of existing and new facilities can be assured that our company is aware of the ADA legislations, and that our mats meet or exceed the recommendations and intent of the ADA.
We hope this information has cleared any confusion you may have experienced over the use of our professional mat service with regards to the ADA.
The National Floor Safety Institute (NFSI) has certified the mats as High Traction.
Before a product is certified as High Traction, it is subjected to a rigorous series of tests.
Phase 1 Testing
The mats were submitted to the NFSI for laboratory testing with the Universal Walkway Tester (UWT). The mats were wet tested for Static Coefficient of Friction (SCOF) under NFSI 101A guidelines. After meeting the NFSI standard for slip resistance, they were eligible for Phase 2 Testing.
Phase 2 Testing
Under Phase 2 testing, the mats were installed in a real world application for a minimum of thirty days. They were exposed to the same demands as that of the application including commercial traffic loads, exposure to cleaning agents, spills, etc. After the test period has expired, the mats were cleaned and wet-tested for SCOF. Once the mats met the NFSI’s minimum acceptable level of slip resistance, they were classified as “High-Traction” and were NFSI certified.
In the marketplace, architects, designers, and specifiers are being educated to select products that are NFSI certified in high-risk areas. It is their assurance that the products have been clinically tested and meet the highest performance standards.
This is just another indication that Main Street Mat Company is leading the industry with the highest performing, most innovative, and now the safest mats available.
SLIP AND FALL INFO
- “There are 34 million Americans over the age of 60”. A person age 65 or older is 10 times more likely to be the victim of a debilitating slip-and-fall accident than a person under 30. (National Floor Safety Institute)
- 60% of fall-related deaths occur among people 65 and older. Falls are the No. 1 cause of injury-related death for males 80 and older and for females 75 and older. (NSC) The world’s population age 65 and older is growing by an unprecedented 800,000 people a month. (U.S. Census Bureau)
- Slips and falls are the leading cause of accidental death for people over the age of 75 and is estimated to cost society more than $60 billion annually. (National Floor Safety Institute)
- The average slip-and-fall claim is $4,000. (NFSI)
- The average cost of a slip-related injury exceeds $12,000. (Wausau Insurance Co.)
- The average cost to defend against a slip-and-fall lawsuit is $50,000. (NFSI)
- Fall-related medical expenses cost Americans more than $20 billion each year. Projections show these expenses will climb to more than $32 billion over the next 20 years. (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
- For every dollar spent on floor maintenance products, the average supermarket will spend $3 paying for slip and fall accidents. (NFSI)
- Preventing workplace injuries makes it easier for a company to reach its financial goals. For example, a company with $100,000 of costs related to workplace injuries will have to produce an additional $2 million in revenue just to cover the expense, assuming a 5% profit margin. (Liberty Mutual)
- The average restaurant has 3-9 slip/fall accidents each year. (NSC)
- The food service industry’s leading cause of employee injury is slipping and falling. (Liberty Mutual)
- In 1987 there were 12 million injuries caused by falls requiring at least one day of medical attention. Two-thirds of the falls happened at the floor level. (National Safety Council)
- The flooring material, floor hazards or improper maintenance accounts for approximately 50% of slip-and-fall accidents. (NFSI)
- Falls caused or led to 15,400 deaths in America in 2001. (NSC)
- Falls are the second leading cause of accidental death and percentage-wise, it is growing three times faster than any other cause. (National Safety Council)
- More than 1 million people suffer an injury from a slip, trip or fall in the U.S. each year. Over 11,000 people die as a result of falls alone. Slips, trips and falls account for 15 to 20% of all workers compensation costs. (Professional Retail Store Maintenance)
- Over 30% of worker injuries are slip-related. (Wausau Insurance Co.)
- Every year there are more than 12 million slip-and-fall accidents in the U.S., resulting in more than 100,000 disabling injuries annually. (NSC)
- The direct cost of workplace injuries (payments to injured workers and their medical care providers) rose 3.6% to $40.1 billion in 2001 from $38.7 billion in 2000. The total financial impact of both direct and indirect costs (lost productivity, overtime, etc.) is estimated to be as much as $240 billion. (Liberty Mutual)
- Wal-Mart stores receive 100 million visitors a week. Wal-Mart gets sued almost once every two hours every day of the year. Many of the suits are slip-and-fall related. (USA Today)
- The retail industry has the highest incidence of “same level” falls when compared with all other industries. These types of claims account for approximately 17.1% of worker’s compensation claims. (Liberty Mutual Research Center for Safety and Health)
- Standing fatigue is not just a matter of personal discomfort. It also causes physical injury, costing employers time, productivity and money. (National Safety Council)
- Workers who stood on anti-fatigue mats were able to reduce the level of fatigue and discomfort by as much as 50%. (Mark Redfern, Ergonomist at the Center of Ergonomics at the University of Michigan)
- Productivity drops by 33% for a person standing 8 hours on a concrete floor. Standing on an anti-fatigue mat increases productivity by 20-50%. (OSHA)