Plastex | Cold room and walk-in freezer safety

Cold room or walk-in freezer safety concerns? Four features to consider when choosing refrigeration matting

We’ve been receiving a lot of queries about walk-in freezer safety matting lately, so we decided to address some of the most common questions we get asked about how to select the best protective and slip-resistant matting to meet walk-in freezer floor and cold storage warehouses requirements.

From commercial kitchen cold rooms and liquor stores, to meat lockers and supermarket store rooms, many refrigerated environments are high traffic areas for employees and customers, which means walk-in freezer safety/cold room safety needs to be at the front of mind.

Why matting is needed for cold room and walk-in freezer safety

Moisture and lack of air movement in walk-in fridges and freezers can cause ice build-up. When this happens, floors quickly become hazardous underfoot, and it becomes almost impossible to safely control wheeled trolleys. This is a significant walk-in freezer safety risk. An unlined walk-in fridge or freezer floor is an accident waiting to happen, and the right matting will provide an extra level of grip and slip resistance underfoot and underwheel, improving cold room safety.

Cold room environments also exist in refrigerated vehicles and have the same safety requirements as a cold room. With increased consumer demand for home-delivered groceries, vehicles are making more stops and having to cope with more frequent door openings for deliveries. This means more condensation (which becomes ice underfoot), which can affect the floor which delivery people are stepping onto. No matter the environment, there’s risk underfoot that can be reduced with the right refrigerator floor matting.

An additional benefit: cold room epoxy flooring in refrigerated environments is expensive to install. Installing matting will help protect it against shoe or wheel scuffs, and provide safety underfoot.

What to look for when choosing walk-in freezer or chiller room floor mats

Here are the four main walk-in freezer floor, cold room, and cold storage warehouse requirements to consider when choosing protective matting:

1. Temperature

What’s the temperature range of your facilities? Some slip-resistant matting will crack and curl under cold and freezing temperatures, so make sure you know the extreme ranges of temperatures the matting needs to withstand and choose matting specifically designed for refrigerated environments.

Vynagrip and Firmagrip are ideal for cold room and walk-in freezer floors, as both can withstand temperatures down to -23°C without being compromised.

Need to cover a large surface? Plastex Grid is heavy duty open-grid tiling that interlocks together to create raised work surfaces. It can withstand extreme temperatures down to -60°C and heavy loads, perfect for improving walk-in freezer safety in commercial environments like cold warehouses.

Refrigerator Vynagrip 2
Matting for commercial refrigeration

2. Airflow

As in any wet environment, it’s important to consider the airflow and drainage properties of slip-resistant floor matting. This also helps provide protection for packaging (and the food within) from moisture and condensation build-up (as the very conditions needed to safely store cold products can also cause damage if not stored correctly).

Look for matting that’s non porous and has a two-tiered open grid that allows for air circulation – this helps prevent any liquids or condensation pooling on the surfaces boxes sit on.

Vynagrip’s open grid construction allows for excellent airflow, making it perfect for refrigerators, cold rooms and beer caves as it elevates goods off floors/shelves.

Flexigrid is also a great choice, as its diamond-tread surface offers great air flow and provides excellent slip resistance within even the toughest industrial applications.

3. Wheeled traffic

There’s two key things to factor in: the load bearing capacity required, and transition of wheeled traffic onto the mats.

Check the weight of the trolleys (as well as any stock that might be sitting directly on the matting) to make sure that the matting won’t be compromised by a heavy-load. In some environments, such as cold warehouses, slip-resistant matting also needs to be able to withstand and accommodate (sometimes heavy) wheeled traffic.

For areas where vehicles may also be traversing over the matting, Plastex Grid is a great choice, as it withstands weights up to 50T/m2.

In environments where employees need to transport stock using carts or trolleys, look for matting that offers edging to assist with transitioning between the mat and the floor.

Firmagrip and Vynagrip both have aluminium edging ancillaries available, as well as two PVC edging options (60mm or 100mm width). Firmagrip has a closer-mesh design suitable for frequent wheeled traffic, and is also able to withstand heavier loads.

Industry retail 02
Vynagrip in the back of a van

4. Installation & infrastructure

In most refrigerated environments, floor matting needs to be installed around infrastructure, doors and shelving or racking, or fit within existing walkways, such as in liquor and convenience stores.

Look for matting systems that don’t require templating or extensive site-visits for measurement. All Plastex mats, including Vynagrip, contour to uneven surfaces, and are easy to cut to shape and customise on site without any special tools.

This makes our mats ideal for spaces that are traditionally complex to template (such as within refrigerated vehicles and areas with existing shelves/racking systems) or where installation has to be efficient due to long operational hours, such as hotels, resorts and restaurants.

Vynagrip is also a great option for large areas that need slip-resistant matting, as it’s designed to be loose-laid and quick to install.

Need help choosing the right slip-resistant matting for your cold room?

Our friendly sales team is always happy to help provide solutions for cold room and walk-in freezer safety challenges. Just send us a message, or you can order free samples to help you choose which mat will do the best job at protecting your people and products.

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