Understanding Slip Potential According to Dynamic Coefficient of Friction (DCOF) Values

Understanding Slip Potential According to Dynamic Coefficient of Friction (DCOF) Values

When it comes to safety in the workplace, it is essential to understand the different types of traction ranges and slip-potential classifications. Slip-and-fall accidents can happen in any workplace, but understanding the potential for these accidents can help employers take the necessary steps to minimize the risk.

About the Dynamic Coefficient of Friction (DCOF) slip-resistance method

One way to assess slip potential is by using the Dynamic Coefficient of Friction (DCOF) method. DCOF is a measure of the force required to start an object moving over a surface compared to the force required to keep it moving. The higher the DCOF value, the greater the traction between the surface and the object. A higher DCOF value higher is considered to be safer for most environments.

The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) has established three different traction ranges based on DCOF values:

  1. High Traction (HT) - DCOF of 0.45 or higher
  2. Moderate Traction (MT) - DCOF between 0.31 and 0.44
  3. Low Traction (LT) - DCOF of less than 0.30

These traction ranges are used to classify different types of surfaces and help employers understand the potential for slips and falls. For example, a high traction surface is typically found in areas where there is a higher risk of slips and falls, such as wet or oily areas, food service areas, and areas with heavy foot traffic. A low traction surface is generally found in areas where there is less risk of slips and falls, such as dry areas with little foot traffic.

In addition to DCOF, other factors can affect slip potential, such as the type of footwear worn by employees and the slope of the surface. The angle of the slope is measured in degrees and is known as the angle of inclination. The higher the angle of inclination, the greater the risk of slips and falls. For example, a slope of 1 degree or less is considered to be safe, while a slope of 7 degrees or more is considered to be hazardous.

The National Floor Safety Institute (NFSI) Cross Reference Chart

To help employers understand the potential for slips and falls, the National Floor Safety Institute (NFSI) has published the Cross Reference Chart:

The NFSI B101.3 Cross Reference Chart is a useful resource for safety professionals who want to compare the slip resistance of different flooring materials. It also showcases the values of different measuring standards. 

About NFSI

The NFSI is a non-profit organization dedicated to preventing slips, trips, and falls through research, education, and standards development. One of their key contributions to the field of slip resistance is the NFSI B101.3 standard, which is a test method for measuring the dynamic coefficient of friction (DCOF) of floor surfaces. This standard provides a consistent and objective way to evaluate the slip resistance of flooring materials, and it has been widely adopted by manufacturers, architects, and safety professionals. 

The NFSI B101.3 standard is an important tool for ensuring that flooring materials meet minimum safety requirements and for identifying areas where slip resistance may need to be improved. By following this standard, organizations can reduce the risk of slip and fall accidents and create safer environments for employees, customers, and visitors.

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