Leaks, drips, splashes and overspray from machinery, tools and equipment are everyday nuisances that almost everyone has to deal with. They can eat into valuable production time for cleanup, and can present a serious slip and fall safety risk for employees in the area. Absorbent mats can help minimize non-productive cleanup time and reduce safety risks. Here’s a look at how to utilize absorbent matting throughout your facility.
Table of Contents
- Production areas
- The maintenance area off your production floor
- Fleet maintenance areas
- QA/QC laboratories
- Fluid dispensing areas
- Central waste collection areas
Hydraulic oil and coolants perform two different functions — the oil keeps machines running smoothly while coolants keep parts from overheating. Both of these liquids have the potential to leak or drip. Many production managers will even claim that if a well-seasoned machine isn’t leaking, it’s because it’s offline. All of those essential liquids that leak usually end up in drip pans under the machine or on the floor. Your grandfather’s generation used cat litter, cardboard, sawdust or rags to soak up these messes because there really weren’t any other options.
Absorbent mats are this generation’s solution. They quickly pick up large quantities of leaking, dripping fluids better than all of these options, they look cleaner while doing it and they save time over sweeping and shoveling loose absorbents into collection containers. Plus, stocking absorbent mats in areas where leaks and drips are common helps prevent employees from sneaking one or two out of a spill kit to get the job done.
Oil mists and coolant overspray can also make production floors slick. Absorbent matting captures these liquids as they hit the floor and provides a safer walking surface in work areas, aisles and other walkaways.
In assembly and rebuilding areas, it can be hard to get away from work surfaces that become coated with oil or grease throughout the work day. Absorbent matting quickly soaks in messes and provides a work surface that helps prevent scratching and minimizes the movement of small parts like screws, bolts and washers — so employees spend less time looking for dropped parts.
Splashes from dip tanks and parts washers can be slippery and degrade floors. Placing absorbent mat rolls on the floors around these tanks decreases the likelihood of slips and can even extend the life of flooring.
The Maintenance Area Off Your Production Floor
Maintenance technicians can handle everything from spot-welding and replacing worn electrical cords to rebuilding engines and metal fabrication. Some of these tasks can get messy. (Don’t miss our article on Preventive Maintenance for helpful tips!)
Small puddles of oil from disassembling tools and engines can contaminate workbenches and countertops, making clean parts dirty. Benchtop absorbent mats soak in these small spills and help keep work surfaces clean.
Absorbent mats can also be used on the floor or on benchtops to quickly absorb solvents after parts washing operations.
Fleet Maintenance Area
Keeping vehicles on the road can be a mixed bag of routine maintenance and unexpected repairs. Routine maintenance, such as oil and coolant changes or replacing fuel line filters can create leaks and drips anywhere from a few ounces to several gallons of fluids.
When these fluids are recovered in drip pans or collection containers, they can often be recovered and recycled. If they miss the pan or container and end up on the floor, they can create a slippery mess. Stocking absorbent mats in each bay allows technicians to quickly absorb these small messes before they get tracked to other areas. Absorbing these small leaks and drips also makes floor cleaning easier and more effective at the end of the day.
In past generations, kitty litter was often used in fleet maintenance areas to soak up oil, antifreeze and other vehicle fluids. Beside the health hazard that clay-based kitty litter presents to anyone working in the area, the dust and grit from kitty litter gets into engines and parts causing premature wear — which can mean more unscheduled maintenance. Absorbent mats have very low lint and no abrasive grit, plus they hold on to whatever they’ve absorbed so it’s not re-deposited on the floor later. (Read more about why you should lose the kitty litter once and for all!)
Making sure that a product meets internal quality specifications is sometimes an underappreciated task. Quality labs can test anything from the crispness of a potato chip to the purity of a pharmaceutical compound.
Calibrating test equipment in laboratories ensures the validity of results. When calibrating fluids are used or the sample being tested is a liquid, small leaks and spills can happen. Covering work surfaces with absorbent matting helps to minimize downtime spent containing and cleaning up these small spills. It can also minimize the chance for cross contamination.
Fluid Dispensing Areas
Transferring liquids from bulk tanks, totes, drums and other large containers into smaller, single use containers can cause small leaks, spills and container overflows. Pumps and faucets may also leak or have residual liquids in them that drip onto the floor after a fluid transfer is complete. Using Barrel Top Absorbent Mats is a great solution for this as they are shaped to fit on drum tops to soak up pump drips and keep barrel tops clean.
Although these leaks and spills are often small, they present a slip hazard for employees in the area. When spills aren’t cleaned up promptly, they can also be tracked to other areas, compounding housekeeping efforts.
Central Waste Collection Areas
Waste collection areas are centralized areas, rooms or buildings where materials that are no longer useful are gathered for recycling or disposal. Some wastes such as fluorescent lights, batteries, mercury switches and aerosol cans can be recycled. Other wastes may need to be segregated to facilitate proper disposal.
When liquid wastes are collected into drums or tanks, small leaks and drips can end up on the floor or on the tops of the collection containers. Occasionally, the containers may be overfilled, causing a small puddle. Storing absorbent mats and wipers in waste collection areas allows employees to quickly clean up these spills.
No matter what types of products or services are produced at a facility, absorbent mats are a valuable time-saving commodity that helps to keep each area safer and cleaner.