In the vast majority of HV substations and LV switchrooms, we see Insulating Rubber Matting which is often old and contaminated. When asking Appointed Persons why it is installed, there is rarely a clear idea.
Our latest Technical Bulletin TB001 - Insulating Rubber Matting explains the relevance of BS EN6111:2009 Rubber Matting (Live Working) to ‘live’ working environments, the requirement for annual testing, the potential shortcomings of different uses of matting and the general legal framework which governs its use.
Insulating matting can cause a hazard and should be risk assessed for non-live working environments. Unnecessary matting can cause an increased risk of slips, trips and falls. We have seen mats screwed to the floor with woodscrews and penny washers. Mats can also stop the use of lifting trucks and the removal of circuit-breaker trucks.
The choice to use insulated mats should be based on a proper risk assessment. If you are using insulated mats in general service, they cannot be used for live working. If you use insulated mats due to increased risk from discharge, arc-flash or a difference in potential, the mats shall be tested annually as specified by the manufacturer or BS EN 61111:2009, and cannot be used for non-live working.