Anti-fatigue mats are a great addition to many workplaces – from shops to bars, from manufacturing to distribution. Although they generally work the same way, depending on the type of work you do, there are certain features you should look out for. Here’s our guide to anti-fatigue mats specifically for welders.
What is an anti-fatigue mat?
Anti-fatigue matting is a type of floor or worktop covering that has a slight flex, which encourages the user to make slight adjustments to their position and posture. This, in turn, reduces the fatigue that can come from standing in one place for a sustained period of time – a symptom of reduced blood circulation. In addition to reducing fatigue and increasing comfort, employees will be more productive, happier, and their engagement with work and the company will improve. They’ll be healthier – working in one position for too long day after day can lead to muscle and skeletal problems over time.
Welders are often tasked with working long hours in uncomfortable and potentially dangerous environments – especially if they have a dedicated welding bay. Installing Anti-fatigue matting for welders These areas make sense, as the type of work being carried out can be laborious, difficult and require the welder to stay focused for hours.
However, the welding bay is usually home to sparks and extremely hot metal fragments. A standard anti-fatigue mat can easily melt or become a fire hazard in these conditions, and so you need to source a mat that is designed to hold up under stress. Anti-fatigue welding mats will usually have a comfortable foam backing for anti-fatigue properties and a tough PVC surface on top to resist heat. When you’re reviewing mats, make sure they have a flame retardancy certificate or rating (BS EN 13501-1:2002 is the relevant British Standard).
In addition to heat/flame resistance, your new anti-fatigue matting is designed with traction in mind, ensuring you can increase the health and safety of your welders. Most such matting will reduce the risk of slips and falls, by providing a ‘grippy’ surface – you can improve on this by sourcing matting marked as extra-traction or anti-slip: particularly important when employees are using welding torches and other hazardous equipment. Either.
Finally, welding bays can often produce sharp metal fragments. When they are stepped on, they can grind into the floor or matting, significantly reducing its lifespan. If you want to avoid replacing your anti-fatigue matting too often, you should look for versions that are especially tough and hard-wearing because they will have a natural resistance to cuts or abrasion damage caused by debris.
Not specifically related to welding, but a good feature for any anti-fatigue matting is how easy it is to clean. Industrial sites can get very dirty throughout the day, but you don’t want to spend too much time cleaning: make sure your new matting can be easily sprayed or wiped off so the process is quick and painless.