Facility leaders share their thoughts on what to expect this year and beyond
Join Dave Thompson on Feb. 27 in our Ask the Expert session on motivating and recognizing technicians and janitors
Mount St. Mary’s University is nestled just below the Mason-Dixon Line in rural Emmitsburg, Maryland. Don’t let the humble, rolling mountain setting fool you. This is a small school with big-time amenities and ambitions.
Nearly 70 percent of the university’s students live on the 1,400-acre main campus. More than 70 student groups regularly meet and hold events. Athletics are a significant part of the Mt. St. Mary’s University experience, drawing thousands of fans annually. It’s even a tourist destination, hosting the nation’s second-largest Catholic seminary and a national shrine.
Keeping the campus clean for tour groups, tidying up after a student group’s fundraiser, and ensuring students, staff, and visitors are safe during inclement weather all create an imperative mission for the university’s dedicated department of public safety. It also means that ensuring entranceways and walkways are safe and clean is among the most important tasks for the maintenance team.
With so much responsibility, the team is always seeking new ideas and processes to enhance the campus’s safety and appearance.
The problem under their feet
The maintenance team identified potential slip, trip and fall risks at most of the entranceways throughout the campus. Students, staff, and visitors are constantly walking in and out of the campus’ 26 buildings, often tracking in rainwater, snow, leaves, and dirt. Factor in students chatting, rushing to class, or checking their phones, and it creates a challenging environment to ensure every walkway is free of hazards that could lead to a slip or fall.
The university’s most common solution was rubber-backed floor mats, which were placed at entrances to dining halls, dorms, common areas, athletic venues, the chapel, administration buildings — the list goes on. However, instead of providing a safe walking surface by absorbing moisture and removing dirt from shoes, the mats were producing new problems:
A single solution for multiple problems
Actively seeking a better solution, Mount St. Mary’s found the PIG Grippy Mat. The key product attribute was in the name — Grippy Mat literally sticks flat to the floor using an adhesive backing. That feature, combined with its low-profile and customizable designs, made an instant difference throughout the campus.
The key improvements:
A campus-wide success
The switch to Grippy Mat nearly eliminated slip-and-fall incidents at Mount St. Mary’s. It also created more appealing facilities, reduced product costs and produced savings in time, money and manpower.
The mission to maintain and improve the campus is never finished for the maintenance team at Mount St. Mary’s. But with the addition of Grippy Mat to their safety program, they can now focus on the problems ahead of them and not the ones under their feet.