The High Price of Low Cost Anti-fatigue Mats
Too often we see companies making decisions about products that affect worker health and safety, and productivity based on short term price considerations. Because dollars are important, we believe that it is critical to consider that there is a big difference between price and cost. We have all purchased an item that seems like a “deal” or that is “acceptable” only to find out that total cost-of-ownership is much different that the price tag at the time of purchase. When considering the “price” of an anti fatigue mat, there are two primary considerations that impact the overall cost: 1. Its cost over time, and 2. Does it do what it is supposed to do? In this article we will address the first of these.
In our recent blog series we have suggested some of the essential questions to ask before buying an anti-fatigue mat. So far, we have discussed compressibility (elastic modulus), and the height of the material relative to it’s compressibility (densification strain), having a balance between stability and instability, looking at how responsive the surface is to worker movements, and if the anti-fatigue mat surface balances shock attenuation (absorb energy) and resilience (return energy), and if the surface get softer as it is compressed. This article suggests one of the elements to consider when determining cost of ownership, over time:
Is the anti-fatigue mat surface easy to clean?
Some surfaces can become easily embedded with industrial debris like metal shaving and chips that are almost impossible to sweep or clean, and companies have to pay workers for additional cleanup time. Other mats have domed or uneven surfaces, or holes that require special tools for adequate cleaning. Oil and solvents may have incompatible interactions with some matting material. Perhaps the biggest concern is if moisture is present when using a foam mat. Foam can act just like a sponge to soak up foreign liquids and can foster bacterial growth and that of unknown pathogens that can present serious treats to health, or at the very least can be unsanitary and smell bad. Material that can be easily cut, torn or punctured (like foam) can trap food particles and bacteria, and are usually not acceptable in food prep areas.
The cost of ownership of SmartCells anti-fatigue mats is very low because of our 8 year warranty, and because the surface is tough enough to resist embedding of industrial debris, and can easily be swept, mopped or vacuumed. Unlike foam, the rubber SmartCells will not absorb liquid which helps reduce the risk of infections, bacteria, and foul smells. Pressure washing with soap and water is also easy and does not damage the mat.
SmartCells cushioning technology consists of a rubber surface layer integrated with an underlying array of cylindrical rubber cells that soften in response to surface pressure to provide maximum fatigue relief. The SmartCells act like springs that cushion as weight is applied and then rebound when the weight shifts, which returns energy, providing unparalleled responsiveness that helps reduce standing fatigue.
SmartCells Cushioning Technology: It’s not how the mat feels, it’s how YOU feel.