Fall Protection FAQ
With all the cells on the underside, doesn't this create infection control issues?
While it is appropriate to be concerned with the surface area that is potentially exposed to pathogens, infection control issues relating to SmartCells have been put to bed for some time. Here are some responses:
- As you can imagine, this is a consideration for every one of our clients, so it is always one of the first items of discussion. Every infection control team that has evaluated the SmartCells product has given it the green light, so we are not breaking any new ground with this conversation. Infection control personnel DO allow SmartCells mats and flooring into their hospitals.
- While the structure of the SmartCells surfaces present potential for exposure, the material itself is non-porous and is incapable of absorbing liquid, unlike typical foam or sponge based products that are made of cellular structures (like bubble-bath) that contain many, many more times the structural surface area for contamination than SmartCells, especially once they rupture (which is a certainty) or if the coating or cover is ruptured or torn. This is why these mats almost always reek of urine, and why they are often discarded after only months (or a year or so) of use (remember, SmartCells has an 8 year warranty). If organizations have approved that type of fall protection, they will have no challenge approving SmartCells.
- The idea of a sealed bottom has been discussed and tried in many industrial marketplaces, and while it holds some logic on paper, the real world application is not practical and my not be possible on some mats. Here is what we have found: First, it adds significantly to the price. Second, if the membrane appropriate for sealing is breached, (even by a single pin hole) the ability to then disinfect the bottom surface is almost entirely restricted, since it has been sealed off.
- The seams where the mat segments are joined can be sealed, so that mats can be in one piece, if desired, eliminating seams.
- If the desired solution is flooring, instead of matting, then the issue of infection control goes away, since the entire SmartCells structure is sealed off entirely, under an additional flooring surface (vinyl or carpet) that is installed on top of the SmartCells, and is cleaned and maintained for infection control purposes in precisely that same way as is currently being done.
- The very best process to put these questions to rest is to do an in-house test, with infection control personnel who can inspect and test on their own. SATECH, Inc. will, of course, be pleased to provide for this.
How are SmartCells® fall protection mats cleaned?
General Guidelines: Sweep, damp mop, vacuum, etc., just like a regular floor. Clean up any spills right away. Fruit juice, vinegar, alcoholic drinks or other similar drinks/foods may discolor noon-black mats if they are allowed to sit on the mat surface. Use a light cleaning dilution of Simple Green or comparable cleaner if necessary. Envirox H2Orange2Concentrate 117 is an acceptable degreaser and sanitizer.
For “disinfectant cleaning” use an appropriate dilution of TASKI NDC, a concentrated pH neutral detergent/disinfectant cleaner or OXIVER to provide provide one-step, no-rinse cleaning. These cleaners are EPA registered hospital grade disinfectants that provide protection against bacteria/virus/fungus/mildew. It is also okay to use a dilute bleach (Sodium Hypochlorite) solution or an alcohol-based solution. Autoclaving is also okay, provided it is limited to 1 hour or less and no more than 250 degrees F. An autoclavavble formulation is available.
Method: Since SmartCells bedside mats are designed to be stable and to stay in place for caregiver activities like standing, walking, wheeling, transferring, etc., they are, by definition heavier than typical unstable, foam-based mats, and generally do not need to be moved. For regular cleaning, we recommend that one end of the mat should be “rolled” toward the middle of the mat, providing access to the floor and the underside of ½ of the mat. Then, rolled back into place after cleaning and drying. Repeat from the other end. SEE SmartCells Fall Protection Special Instructions
For more intense cleaning, requiring mat removal, roll the entire mat then “tip” it from one end to a standing position. It can then be easily transported on a wheeled device.
Flooring: Since the entire SmartCells structure is sealed off entirely, under carpet or vinyl, it can be cleaned and maintained for infection control purposes in essentially that same way as is currently being done.
Are there any special cleaning considerations for maintenance / environmental services personnel or methods?
SmartCells® bedside injury prevention mats have a surface treatment that will allow for “shufflers” to easily navigate but will also provide solid footing in the presence of liquid. However, some cleaning / infection control procedures employ the use of easily detachable (micro fiber) mop heads which are intended to be used on slippery-when-wet surfaces (like standard non-cushioned floors). When dragged across a SmartCells surface they can sometimes detach. A discussion about this should be considered with staff.
The SmartCells® mats are heavy, how do we move them?
If to clean, see answers to cleaning questions (above).
The mats are intended to be so user friendly that they can stay in place. Research indicates that the surface is very stable for balance-impaired persons and statistically indistinguishable from a standard rigid floor.
The mats will accommodate most typical caregiver activities like standing, walking, wheeling and transferring, without having to move the mats. For more intense cleaning, requiring mat removal, roll the entire mat then “tip” it from one end to a standing position. It can then be easily transported on a wheeled device. SEE SmartCells Fall Protection Special Instructions
How is SmartCells® affected by rolling loads?
The force required to roll objects on SmartCells is dependent on the size of the wheels and the weight of the object.
According to research conducted by Frasier Health Authority, BC, Canada, in February, 2009:
“The maximum acceptable limit for pushing the equipment as determined using the Snook tables was 24 kg for initial forces and 15 kg for sustained forces. All forces measured to push the Arjo Sara Lift, Arjo Tempo lift and the wheelchair over both surfaces fell within ergonomics guidelines and is considered a low risk of injury (Snook, 1991).
Pushing the equipment on the responsive flooring required a higher push force than pushing on the regular flooring in all conditions with all equipment. However, the responsive flooring push forces still fall within ergonomics guidelines and would be considered an acceptable implementation by the Workplace Health Ergonomics team.”
How slippery is the mat in the presence of liquid?
SmartCells® bedside injury prevention mats have a surface treatment that will allow for “shufflers” to easily navigate but will also provide solid footing in the presence of liquid. For especially slippery or wet environments, like bathrooms or shower areas, SmartCells® “build-your-own” matting / flooring is available with an added anti-slip surface and drain-through holes.
How much do SmartCells® bedside fall protection mats cost?
With an 8-year warranty, SmartCells® fall protection mats represent the best value in the market place. Quantity discounts available.
Custom Fall Protection Flooring is quoted per installation.
How do SmartCells® mats compare with other fall protection mats?
SmartCells® are generationally different than other matting.
- Made of unique rubber structure, not foam or gel
- Becomes softer on impact, not harder like foam / sponge
- Incapable of absorbing liquid
- Fewer infection control issues
- Stable surface for standing, walking, wheeling and transferring
- Also available as flooring
- 8 year warranty
Do SmartCells® mats come in different colors?
Yes. Standard colors include black, grey and light brown, but are available in a variety of additional colors, surface treatments and patterns.
Keep in mind that for some advanced dementia patients, a black mat may look to them like a hole in the ground, and can make they fearful. We generally recommend a color other than black.
Does SmartCells® contain latex?
NO. SmartCells® is made from synthetic rubber not natural rubber.
Latex is technically a generic term meaning milky liquid. It can apply to the natural rubber tree sap from which is coagulated an isoprene polymer commonly referred to as natural rubber. It can also apply to the pre-coagulant phase of synthetic polymer rubber. Since the polymerization occurs in an aqueous phase the milky liquid that occurs prior to coagulation of the polymer is called latex.
The term latex is most generally used to refer specifically to natural rubber.
However, the type I allergy that can occur with skin contact with a latex product always refers to natural rubber latex. The allergic reaction is a response to proteins that occur in natural rubber latex. They simply do not exist in synthetic rubber latex.
If SmartCells® is covered by another surface, how does that effect cushioning?
When covered by Interface carpet tiles the cushioning is increased. When covered by vinyl, the cushioning may be slightly reduced, but remains highly effective in reducing fall related injuries.
What is SmartCells® fire rating?
SmartCells® with a carpet or vinyl covering comply with NFPA and UBC Class 1 Fire Ratings. SmartCells with a poly coating achieves a Class 2 fire rating.
Are there any chemicals that should not be used on SmartCells® beside mats?
DO NOT USE Quaternary ammonium compounds.
DO NOT USE HYDROCARBON SOLVENTS SUCH AS PAINT THINNER.
DO NOT USE OIL-BASED CLEANING SOLUTIONS SUCH AS MURPHY’s OIL SOAP or PINESOL.
DO NOT USE PASTE WAX.
DO NOT USE VINYL CLEANERS SUCH AS ARMORALL.
How is vinyl or carpet tile applied on top of SmartCells® Fall Protection Flooring?
Typically a double-coated sheet adhesive is applied on top of the SmartCells pads for sheet vinyl. For carpet tiles a liquid pressure sensitive adhesive is used. The carpet tiles or sheet vinyl are simply applied on top of the SmartCells according to normal Manufacturers specifications.
What carpet or vinyl products are appropriate for use with SmartCells®?
Contact SATECH, Inc, for recommended manufacturers. info@SmartCellsUSA.com , (888) 728-3241.
Do SmartCells® mats have an odor?
New rubber has a slight odor that usually dissipates within a few days or weeks. If there is circulating air it is usually unnoticeable. The odor can be blocked if a covering or coating is placed on the mat. Alternatively, good air circulation works well to dissipate the new rubber smell.