Trip and falls on poorly utilized floor mats

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The next time you walk in a retail store or a commercial building and you see a floor mat that is worn, flipped up, bunched up or has noticeable ridges, the mat being utilized is probably more of a safety risk than a preventative safety measure.

Our office has represented multiple folks who have tripped over poorly utilized mats. Most of the mats that cause accidents should have never been utilized in the first place. These mats are frequently worn, too thin, and too cheap and will not stay flush on the floor.

I went to a movie over the weekend and saw one of these mats flipped up inside a carpeted area of the theatre. I couldn't figure out why it was there in the first place, but it was flipped up, so I kicked it down back flush with the floor. I worked for a national grocery store chain in high school (more than a few years ago), and they had mats that were constantly flipping up and bunching up. The mats do not fare well with grocery cart traffic. It is amazing to me that after all of the advances in technology since those days that business are still using the same flimsy mats that cause falls. The number of people seriously injured, or even killed in falls, is astounding.

There is a wealth of literature that specifically deals with the safety hazards created by mats that don't stay flush on the floor. Many retail outlets have installed permanent installations in their entry way to eliminate the need for the loose floor mats. When I worked for the store in high school, I used to duct tape the edges down to make the mat stay put. At that time, I wasn't aware, and probably not that concerned with the overall problem of mats causing trips and falls, but I was aware that the mats were constantly causing problems, so in my effort to simplify my job, I utilized the cure all, duct tape. out for those mats!