If you have dedicated to improving safety within your workplace or in the buildings that you build or design, then you’re off to a good start. The statistics surrounding injuries caused by slips, trips, and falls makes it clear that this is an area requiring extra attention.
While there are plenty of ways to deal with this by modifying employee behavior and workplace design, understanding the numbers and the science behind what truly makes a surface slippery can empower your decisions to make more fundamental changes to existing floors or when installing new flooring.
Take yourself back to physics or math class for just a few moments. Do you remember something called the COF? The COF, coefficient of friction, is a term used in mathematics to quantify the effect of dragging one substance across another substance. Using the COF, for example, you can understand just how much friction is generated by dragging the sole of your shoe over your floor. More friction means less risk of falling. The less friction there is, the more slippery the surface will feel between the two substances. For example, a COF of 0 means that there is no friction at all.
Going A Little Further
Now that you understand the COF, the next step is understanding the way that this value is tested. The old system of testing involved measuring the static coefficient of friction (SCOF), which is the “static coefficient of friction” measured when both surfaces are at a resting position. According to Stone World magazine, the SCOF is easier to measure in the laboratory than the DCOF.
What’s the DCOF? It stands for "dynamic coefficient of friction," and it's the new standard of testing for slip resistance of various flooring materials. While the SCOF measures slip resistance at a standstill, the DCOF is a measurement of slip resistance in motion, which is a much more accurate representation of a floor’s resistance to slipping than a measurement taken without motion.
How Does This Apply to You?
You may be wondering, after skimming this article and reliving mathematical nightmares from your days of school, how these measurements really affect you and your home or workplace. By decreasing the SCOF and DCOF of the flooring in your home or workplace, you will know with mathematical and scientific certainty that your environment comes closer to embracing safety and practicality.