My Perspective from High Heels |

My Perspective from High HeelsPosted: Jan 2014 Posted by: Mats Inc.


During my first few weeks as the SVP of Sales here at Mats Inc., I spent much of my time with our regional managers meeting with interior designers in Boston, New York, Baltimore and Washington DC.  My background is not in flooring or construction so it has been interesting to learn about the challenges designers face in healthcare, corporate environments, fitness, and education and how our flooring solutions can help.  It was merely a matter of days when I found myself transforming into a true flooring industry geek.  You know, those people who notice details about every floor they walk on and then proceed to tell everyone around them everything they know about it?

In each city, I would run from one meeting to the next, racking up serious mileage on my designer shoes and was quickly reminded about the dangers of simply walking into a building.

Samantha SweeneyBefore my role at Mat Inc., I didn’t realize that it’s not ok for my high heels to get stuck in the recessed metal grates which often guard the entrances to buildings.  I didn’t think about ADA compliance, all the times I’ve had to catch my balance while walking on slippery surfaces or nearly tripping over wrinkled entrance mats while my colleague asks me about my first day with my new feet.  It never occurred to me that my safety (and of course everyone else’s, but this is about me here) was in the hands of building owners, facilities’ managers and designers.

Some of my shoes have been only mildly damaged and I haven’t actually fallen to the ground yet (although there was this one time at the Chicago airport when my heel got stuck in a grate and I had to walk out of my shoe – those shoes were ruined beyond repair), but there is sufficient insurance data that suggests others have not been as lucky.   I have learned that slip and fall incidents can be caused by a variety of conditions including unclean and unsafe floors, individuals’ personal characteristics, lack of employee training and inappropriate footwear, according to facility and cleaning industry experts.  Fortunately, there are institutions which offer industry standards and guidelines to help improve safety and minimize risk, such as Occupational Safety and Health administration (OSHA), Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM).  National Floor Safety Institute (NFSI) developed a checklist to help with the assessment of walking and working surfaces involving housekeeping procedures, employee training, employee footwear, selecting appropriate flooring materials, including proper matting, using the right cleaning chemicals and hazard identification/elimination.

ADA Compliant Foot Grilles

In just a few short weeks, I have come to more fully appreciate the value of the individuals involved in upholding standards and technical test results for our safety.   Of course, I have also come to appreciate the important role that entrance systems and matting play in building safety, as well as indoor air quality, maintenance routines and the life of interior flooring surfaces.

So who wants to talk about Foot Grilles?  That’ll be for next time.

Foot Grille Binder

Send me a Foot Grilles Binder



Categories: Architect & Designer News, On the Road with Samantha

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