Too often we see companies making decisions about products that affect worker health, safety and productivity based on short term price considerations. Because the bottom line is 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” only to find out that total cost-of-ownership is much different than 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. It’s 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 9 Questions Series, we have explored a variety of the essential questions to ask before investing in 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 gets softer as it is compressed. This month we explore one of the elements to consider when determining the 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 shavings and chips that are almost impossible to sweep or clean. This causes companies increased overhead costs since they have to pay workers for additional cleanup time. Other mats have domed or uneven surfaces or holes that require special tools for adequate cleaning.
In addition, in an environment where oil and solvents are being used some matting material may have incompatible interactions. Perhaps the biggest concern is if moisture is present when using a foam mat. Foam can act just like a sponge, soaking up foreign liquids and fostering bacterial growth that can present serious threats to health, or at the very least become unsanitary and smell bad. Finally, 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 the fact that the surface is tough enough to resist the 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.
The unique 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.