Construction sites are hubs of activity, with workers, machinery, and materials constantly in motion. This means construction sites are also rife with potential sources of oil, grease, dirt and grime, from machinery leaks and spilled lubricants to rain and mud.

These slippery substances can turn surfaces into treacherous slip hazards. Tack mats are the first line of defence that captures oil and grease from shoes and wheels before they reach clean areas. Their sticky surface clings to these contaminants, preventing them from spreading and creating hazardous patches.

In this article we’ll explain in more detail why they have been universally used within the construction industry for decades.

Safety First:

Construction sites pose numerous risks for slips and falls due to footborne contaminants like oils, greases, rain, and mud. Tack mats play a crucial role in enhancing overall safety by minimising the likelihood of accidents caused by workers tracking in such substances. 

They absorb moisture from shoes, reducing the transfer to flooring. This proactive measure translates to a reduction in accidents, fostering a safer work environment across construction sites where there is constant risk. Often this is a legal requirement.

Recognising the legal obligations of employers to ensure the health and safety of their workforce, tack mats also offer a practical solution. By mitigating risks associated with “wet floor” accidents, especially on surfaces like tile, vinyl, or wood, these mats align with legal duties and contribute to fulfilling regulatory requirements.

In fact, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) in the UK emphasises the importance of tack mats in managing slip risks. Positioned within a hierarchy of controls, these mats are recommended alongside measures such as slip-resistant flooring, emphasising their integral role in comprehensive safety strategies.

Furthermore, industry standards within the construction sector, as advocated by organisations like the Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB), highlight the inclusion of tack mats in guidelines for site safety and cleanliness. This recognition underscores the widespread acknowledgment of the role these mats play in upholding safety standards within the construction industry.

Compliance with Environmental Regulations:

Environmental regulations are becoming increasingly stringent, and construction sites are under more scrutiny to minimise their impact on surrounding ecosystems. 

By having an “In” mat and an “Out” mat, these tack mats play a role in complying with these regulations by preventing the spread of construction-related pollutants beyond the designated work area. This not only protects the environment but also ensures that construction projects align with sustainability goals and meet regulatory standards.

In particular, in areas where hazardous materials like asbestos, lime, plaster board or lead dust are present, tack mats create a dedicated zone for removing contaminated footwear and clothing. This prevents these materials from spreading outside of the site.

Preventing Cross-Contamination:

Construction sites frequently have different "zones", each at different stages of development, and each with unique cleanliness requirements.

For instance, areas undergoing finishing touches necessitate a pristine environment, whereas areas still being constructed are prone to more dirt. Often workers are required to move between areas.

Tack mats act as effective barriers, ensuring that dust and debris are not transferred. This zoning strategy not only preserves the integrity of each workspace but also streamlines the cleaning process, ultimately saving valuable time and resources.

Health and safety issue:

This leads on nicely to the issue of health and safety. 

As previously mentioned, when entering sites approaching completion, workers must adhere to stringent cleanliness standards. There is no point tracking dirt into newly carpeted homes, for example. However, in practice, this requirement often leads to workers removing their soiled work boots (or else risk incurring additional cleaning costs). This poses a significant problem for obvious reasons—the last thing anyone wants is someone stepping on a loose nail.

It’s why many construction sites, regardless of what stage of development, make tack mats mandatory.

Enhancing Professionalism:

Beyond their practical benefits, tack mats contribute to the overall professionalism of a construction site. Clients and stakeholders visiting the site are likely to be impressed by the attention to detail and commitment to cleanliness. This positive impression can be a valuable asset in building trust and credibility, factors that are essential in the competitive construction industry.

Not to mention, working in a clean and organised space simply feels better—workers in areas with finished touches or sensitive equipment often value the barrier that tack mats create against dust and dirt from other parts of the site. 

Tips For Optimal Use:

Tack mats aren't a one-size-fits-all solution. Different types cater to specific needs:

1) Low Profile Mats: These are your workhorses, ideal for capturing general dirt and debris with minimal intrusion. 

2) Heavy-Duty Tack Mats: For areas with heavier foot traffic or larger particles, these thicker mats provide extra adhesive power.

To maximise their effectiveness, place tack mats strategically:

  • Entry and exit points: This is the frontline and the point with the highest traffic.
  • High-traffic areas: Hallways, common areas, and doorways to clean areas benefit greatly from tack mats.
  • Around sensitive equipment: Protect machinery from dust and debris with strategically placed mats. Larger mats used in combination with dust curtains are ideal for this.


  • Replace mats regularly, BEFORE they become saturated with dirt.
  • Choose the right type of mat for the specific area and level of traffic. 
  • Keep mats clean and free of debris for optimal performance.
  • Gramos mats are known for being strong and long-lasting

As part of our Dust Control range, you can view our high-quality TAKmats here: