The Americans With Disabilities Act sets guidelines, standards, and regulations regarding the fair and equal treatment of people with disabilities. For some establishments, these standards are only recommendations. However, for most other commercial buildings, these standards are mandatory. Here is what you need to know about ADA compliance and safety mats.
ADA Regulations for Safety Mats
The ADA has three main regulations that apply to safety mats:
Floors must remain stable, firm, and slip-resistant
Level changes require a beveled slope
If carpet is present, it can't be over a ½ inch in height
In addition, carpet and exposed carpet edges must have secure fastening to the floor. The carpet height regulation also applies to safety matting as well.
The main thing commercial building owners need to pay attention to is the first point. Your flooring must have safety mats with good grip on the floor. Those safety mats must also have a high level of anti-skidding properties. Suppliers of safety mats that fully meet the first ADA standard are often in full compliance with the other standards as well.
ADA Safety Mat Compliance for Commercial Buildings
ADA compliance for safety mats applies to almost every type of commercial or public building. Buildings requiring ADA compliance include:
Any building offering public accommodations
Any building containing a business with more than 14 employees
Any building containing a business that operates more than 20 weeks in a year
Small businesses are not free from ADA compliance requirements. Nevertheless, if you rent or lease space in your commercial building, you must work out who will bear the responsibility for ADA compliance.
A business leasing a space isn't responsible for the whole building. In cases where a single business occupies your whole building, you can make ADA compliance part of the lease agreement. The only fully exempt properties are private membership clubs and religious organizations.
ADA Compliance for Safety Mats Comes With Benefits
Even in cases where compliance isn't mandatory, consider making your property more accessible. You can gain real benefits from adding in ADA-approved safety matting. For example, you can:
Reduce your own liability
Reduce risks and accidents
Identify places requiring increased accessibility
Position your business as ADA aware
Safety mats don't just benefit people with disabilities. Good mats benefit everyone who visits, works at, or makes use of your building. In addition, ADA-compliant safety matting is a lot less expensive than doing a full renovation to make your commercial building more accessible.
ADA Noncompliance Can Hurt
ADA noncompliance can come with steep fines. These fines can make a larger business falter, and a small business fail. Violating ADA requirements is the same as violating someone's civil rights. Those violations are treated seriously, and the ADA makes it easy for anyone to file a complaint.
You shouldn't look at ADA compliance as a threat. Treat compliance as the standard, rather than something you must begrudgingly adhere to. Proper floor matting is only one aspect of accessibility. Have a complete accessibility plan for your commercial building.
Noncompliance can also hurt in other ways. According to the United States Census Bureau, nearly one out of every five people in the United States has a disability. A property that lacks accessibility is missing potential clientele and needed traffic.
If a fifth of the population views your building as a potential safety hazard, they won't go there. Other people may not show up because they feel your property is discriminating against a protected class.
If you need ADA compliant floor mats, Mat Factory can help. To learn more about handicap, wheelchair, and ADA compliant floor matting for your commercial building, contact us today.