GT Access Logo

The Power in Access

The power in access

Why You Need Ground Protection Mats


24 February 2023

Ground protection mats or ground guards are literally what “it says on the tin”, as the expression goes. They are man-handleable mats that can provide essential ground protection and access for machinery, or pedestrians, over soft or sensitive ground. They will remove the need for costly reinstatement measures after a job is completed, or for delays and downtime on projects being completed.


There are several excellent reasons for using ground protection mats which we will explore in this blog.


1. Safety

The number one priority on any site should be the safety of the staff and pedestrians. Sites are generally uneven or unstable in terms of terrain, and with the use of heavy-duty equipment or simply high levels of foot traffic, such as at an event or festival, there can be many trip hazards that increase the risks of people or equipment having falls or other accidents. They are also a method of ensuring safety in wet and cold weather as their surfaces are slip-resistant with chevron traction surfaces, giving superior grip and reducing the chances of slippage, protecting your workforce and machinery all year around. Using ground guards will ensure that anyone accessing your site remains as safe as possible.


2. Protection

Ground protection mats are designed to do just that; protect the ground. However, by protecting the ground they also protect machinery and the environment. The UK often has unpredictable weather conditions and, especially in the spring and autumn, can have higher levels of rainfall. These periods of wetter weather tend to lead to the ground becoming softer, making the passage of heavy-duty equipment more challenging without destroying the ground’s surface. Ground guards will enable heavy machinery to pass safely over softer ground surfaces without sinking or destroying the site.

Heavy machinery can compact the ground, even if it’s not wet and soft, and this can be equally as devastating to the environment as ploughing up softer surfaces. If the ground isn’t protected, then it can cause soil erosion which can disturb wildlife and ecosystems, and the damage to the underlying ground can make the foundations of other local buildings unstable. Ground protection mats will help prevent compaction, erosion and runoff - as well as enable construction companies to reduce the impact of their work on the local environments they’re working in and around.

The other element of protection that ground guards help with is to protect machinery. Gravel, mud and other hazards of the UK’s weather conditions can also damage the machinery being used on sites. Ground protection mats will minimise the amount of dirt and gravel that could cause your equipment to become damaged or break down. Heavy-duty access equipment that is required for construction work often needs to be maneuvered into unpredictable positions, and unstable surfaces can cause damage to these valuable machines. The temporary roadways that ground protection mats can create will minimise damage to equipment and help create safer access, enabling the project to be completed without issue or holdup.  


3. Durable

Created from high-density polyethylene (HDPE), ground protection mats are extremely tough and durable. Able to withstand loads of up to 80 tons, they are very lightweight – each mat weighs a mere 35 kg – making them easy to manoeuvre into position, and they can be connected to create temporary roadways. Able to safely spread the weight of the heaviest of powered access platforms, these mats protect lawns and paving or prevent machinery from sinking into soft surfaces and getting stuck.

The HDPE of the ground guard mats is not only recycled, but also recyclable - meaning that not only are they protecting the environment that they are used in, but they are also being created sustainably.

Ground protection mats have the added benefit of being easy to clean, needing only to be hosed down to keep your temporary road surface free of the dirt or gravel that could damage the machines using it, or create trip hazards for pedestrians.


4. Cost saving

Ground protection mats are not expensive to either purchase or hire, and in the long term will save your company from the much greater cost of reinstating surfaces that are damaged by heavy machinery. They will also decrease the risk of injury and sickness pay for members of the workforce, or the public, who could be injured by working on unstable ground conditions. Ground guards will also save your company dividends by preventing the delay of projects being completed if the weather conditions are unfavourable. If the weather is unpredictable and unseasonably wet, which can always happen any time of the year, and the ground becomes too soft for heavy access equipment, ground protection mats will guarantee that work can continue unhindered until completion.


GTAccess can supply all your ground protection mat needs

With decades of experience in the industry, supplying powered access machinery and accessories, GTAccess has all of the necessary experience to advise you on matters of ground protection. Ground guards are available to purchase or hire, and we also supply a range of outrigger pads for equipment with outrigger arms, that need stable surfaces for a wider area than regular mats can provide. We sell a range of accessories suitable for use with access platforms that you can browse today.

Get in touch today, to chat with one of our expert team about your ground protection needs.