Safety Tip: Insulated Mat Care and Maintenance
Electrical Insulated mats are a key piece of safety equipment for electrical workers, yet the knowledge on how to care for them is quite limited. Here’s how to best look after your insulated mat to ensure it has a long life and avoid costly early replacement.
Before you even use a mat, here are some pre-start checks;
- – test date current (within 6 months)
- – cracking
- – tears
- – pin holes
- – foreign objects
Storage of the mat is absolutely critical, and the most harm can be done, and the biggest shortening of the lifespan, from incorrect storage.
Things to avoid in storage;
- – rolled up for long periods of time
- – squashing to the point where folds or creases occur
- – beneath other equipment, either heavy or with sharp edges
- – heat sources
- – direct sunlight
- – artificial light
Unfortunately all of these are very common mistakes. The bags designed for carrying/transporting mats are used to store them, they are kept in vans or trucks that get searing hot on a Summer’s Day and so on. Whilst not always avoidable, at the very least these should be minimised.
Damage can also occur during use or maintenance. Be careful to avoid;
- – sharp objects (dropped screws that are then stepped on are a regular culprit)
- – chemicals, solvents and acid used for cleaning (use warm soapy water instead)
Always remember that no matter how close a visual inspection you conduct, and how well you look after your mat, rubber deteriorates over time and the only real way to check a mat is through an electrical test. Electrical testing should be completed by a certified lab, with test intervals not exceeding 6 months. More frequent testing is required for mats that are used frequently or in harsh conditions.
For more information please contact me via email – firstname.lastname@example.org. I will be only too happy to answer your questions.