Sometimes simple rectangular anti-fatigue mats fit perfectly. Other times custom shapes are needed to wrap around or fit within unique layouts. Global tire manufacturer, Nokian Tyres, needed a mix of both standard and custom anti-fatigue mats to eliminate slip and trip hazards, reduce unnecessary costs, and elevate the overall health of its employees.
EHS Specialist Amanda Eskew contacted AcroMat about four challenges they were dealing with in the company’s Dayton, Tennessee manufacturing facility:
- Sliding mats – slip hazard
- Curling mat borders – trip hazard
- Easily worn-out insoles – Added costs
- Custom shapes – Standard shapes weren’t fitting unique layouts
"I hate anti-fatigue mats,” shares Amanda about her experience before partnering with AcroMat. “They're slip/trip hazards, they slide around, and they curl up. They wear down and operators 'sink' into the mats which hurts their ankles. In an effort to make things better, I tried to get insoles for operators instead and get rid of the mats. The insoles didn't last, and I was back to where I started. Out of desperation I was googling for anti-slip anti-fatigue mats, and I came upon AcroMat."
Amanda contacted AcroMat, shared her challenges, and the two sides put an action plan in place. AcroMat’s first course of action was to send Amanda’s team a free, full-sized custom anti-fatigue mat to make sure the mats were comfortable for her people and held up in the way they needed. After numerous issues with other mat providers and styles, the AcroMat team felt it was important Amanda and her team be able to move forward with confidence.
"They even cut me a FREE sample mat (worth $800), and it was at our plant in 3 days," says Amanda. "Operators cannot stop talking about how much better it is than other mats. Their customer service is absolutely top-notch and responsive."
Custom 100-1 Series anti-fatigue mat sample precision cut for Nokian Tyres.
Sliding mats and worn-out insoles
Nokian Tyres’s previous anti-fatigue mats were "sliding all over the place." Amanda and her team removed the old mats and tried insoles, but the insoles wore out in less than 6 months.
Certain mat materials are more prone to sliding, including PVC foam, especially on slick flooring, because they aren’t designed not to slide. Conversely, 100% nitrile is designed to remain in place. The closed cell foam material is naturally slide-resistant and can be supplemented with a non-slip backing to make sure it remains in place on especially slick flooring.
The custom nitrile mat above was designed to "fit like a glove" and supplemented with our non-slip backing, GripCoteX. GripCoteX is painted on to the bottom of mats, can be re-applied and picked up and moved easily without leaving residue.
According to Amanda, "These mats aren't moving."
GripCoteX is a non-slip backing applied to the bottom of anti-fatigue mats. It adds a layer of friction to mats in especially slick areas.
As materials like PVC or even a PVC/nitrile blend age and are faced with constant chemicals and products, the anti-fatigue padding begins to shrink and buckle, which in turn causes anti-fatigue mat borders to curl upwards.
It's a highly common issue. In fact, at AcroMat we surveyed 100 safety leaders in 2023, and "mat edges curling upwards" was the No. 2 reported anti-fatigue mat challenge.
Conversely, pure nitrile combined with a very specific mat design eliminates threats of curling. We actually guarantee this as part of our 2-year warranty. 100% nitrile is also guaranteed not to lose its ergonomic cushion, ever, actively engaging operator muscles and softening joint impact for the mat’s entire lifespan to reduce MSD injury risks.
Nokian Tyres needed custom shapes to fit unique layouts. This semi-circle cutout allows the mat to slide under the work station, making sure operator doesn't have to work on the edge of the mat or half on/half off, which would cause ergonomic issues.
Custom shapes create a glove-like fit
40% of safety leaders from our survey report "having to piece together rectangular mats to cover a work area" is a constant complaint, a trip hazard, and a slip hazard. Yet, many continue with rectangles because they don't know custom mat shapes are an option.
Nokian Tyres needed specific custom shapes. Amanda and her team partnered with AcroMat to design custom mats that included semi-circle cutouts. This simple custom feature allows each mat to fit like a puzzle piece in its dedicated workspace.
The 100% nitrile material combined with GripCoteX helps each mat fit like a glove.
"Comfortable employees equals happy and productive employees," says Amanda. "I cannot say enough positive things about these mats and this company!"