You'd think modern-day workplaces would be completely safe and secure, eliminating risks of danger to staff and visitors. Surprisingly, workplace environments still carry risk to those who work there, and who visit.
Safety at work has come a long way in recent years, ensuring that staff and visitors are taking precautions to stay safe from the obvious hazards, but what about the more subtle dangers? Dangers that secretly impact your staffs wellbeing over a long time?
We're talking about the subtle danger of standing. Yes, standing. Standing on hard floors for any length of time can have a huge impact of that person's wellbeing. There are, in fact, many health concerns that are associated with standing for long periods - from varicose veins, to flat feet, bad and neck pain, headaches. The list goes on.
There is a cost effective solution to help prevent this: Anti fatigue mats. These are not just ordinary mats that you would see in doorway entrances. These mats are manufactured to provide a number of health benefits to those who use them. They are designed for people who stand for long periods of time on a frequent basis i.e. Factory workers, or workers in processing lines.
Whilst it is true that anti fatigue mats were initially built with 'industrial' type workers in mind, it is also true that there are many more employees in other sectors that stand up for the majority of their working day which these mats are now designed for. From hairdressers, to bar tenders, to receptionists, as well as the obvious factory and industrial jobs.
There is really no strict rule book on who should invest in anti fatigue mats, but rather you (as a boss, purchase manager or health and safety staff), need to ask yourself one question when assessing your employees positions. 'Do my employees stand for long periods of time without much moving around (stretching)?' If the answer is no, then you most likely do not have to be too concerned with anti fatigue mats, as there are other solutions available that will do a similar task i.e. specially designed rubber soled shoes, however if your staff do stand for excessive periods of time, then read on.
Generally, you should be concerned when an employee is standing on a hard floor for longer than 40 minutes. After this time, the blood starts to constrict which can cause cramps, along with a number of other painful occurrences.
Anti fatigue mats are not essential in every business, so there is no need to invest unnecessarily, but be mindful of your staff who stand on hard flooring for a living, as these staff need extra care and attention. If anti fatigue mats are not suitable for your business for one reason or another i.e. you have no space for mats, but you are concerned about the health concerns associated with standing for excessive periods, then you could start researching shoes designed to achieve similar results as anti fatigue mats, as these are also a cost effective solution.