Slip Testing Standards
How Do We Measure Traction?
The traction of a flooring surface is determined by measuring its Coefficient of Friction (“COF”) as defined below. COF is further broken down into two categories that measure slip resistance depending on when the slip occurs. The COF rating is an important factor when choosing a flooring surface and treating an existing surface for slip prevention.
As a general rule when measuring SCOF, the higher the number, the less likely a slip or fall will occur. For example, using NFSI B101.1 to measure SCOF, a measurement of .60 or higher would be considered “high traction.” SlipDoctors products are designed to meet or exceed industry standards for COF.
ANSI Testing (A137.1 / A326.3) American National Standard Test Method for Measuring Dynamic Coefficient of Friction of Hard Surface Flooring Materials.
Scope is standard describes the test method for measuring dynamic coefficient of friction (DCOF) of hard surface Flooring materials. is method can be used in the laboratory or in the field.
Dynamic Coefficient of Friction (DCOF): Sometimes called kinetic coefficient of friction. This is the ratio of the force necessary to keep a surface already in motion sliding over another divided by the weight (or normal force) of an object. This ratio is a materials property of the two surfaces. DCOF is usually less than SCOF for the same materials. Contaminants such as dirt, water, soap, oil, or grease can change this value. The laboratory values determined by this test method reflect the dynamic friction between the test foot using SBR rubber and the hard surface flooring being tested under specific controlled conditions. No claim of correlation to actual footwear or human ambulation is made.
Unless otherwise specified, hard surface flooring materials suitable for level 1 interior spaces expected to be walked upon when wet with water shall have a wet DCOF of 0.42 or greater when tested using SBR sensor material and SLS solution as per this standard.
The AcuTest, also known as ANSI A137.1 and newer more comprehensive of version ANSI A326.3 are a test method which references using the BOT-3000E, or like tribometer. While there are other DCOF meters available on the market, the TCNA (Tile Council of Noth America) has maintained their position not yet including other devices.
A326.3 and NFSI B101.1 both offer Dry Testing options. Please contact us for options regarding dry testing.
Listed below are a few of the organizations and associations that help define safety standards in the United States.
ANSI & NFSI
- ANSI (American National Standard Institute) was founded in 1918 with the mission “to enhance both the global competitiveness of U.S. business and the U.S. quality of life by promoting and facilitating voluntary consensus standards and conformity assessment systems and safeguarding their integrity.” ANSI oversees the creation, promulgation and use of thousands of norms and guidelines that directly impact businesses in nearly every sector: from acoustical devices to construction equipment, from dairy and livestock production to energy distribution, and many more.
- NFSI (National Floor Safety Institute) is a 501(c) (3) not-for-profit organization. NFSI was founded in 1997 with the intention of preventing slip-and-fall accidents by educating the public and businesses through informative programming, research, training, and product certification. NFSI certifies flooring materials, coatings, chemical floor-cleaning products, and treatments.
ANSI and NFSI have devised various detailed standards for measuring the Coefficient of Friction (COF) of a surface.
- American with Disabilities Act (ADA) was enacted in 1990 to guarantee equal opportunities for individuals with disabilities. The ADA made it illegal to discriminate based on disability in employment, transportation, telecommunications, state and local government and public accommodations. In 2003, the ADA advisory on surface conditions issued “Bulletin 4” which recommended a Static Coefficient of Friction (SCOF) value of 0.6 for level surfaces and 0.8 for ramps and inclined surfaces.
- Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) was founded in 1970 with the mission to “assure safe and healthful working conditions for working men and women by setting and enforcing standards and by providing training, outreach, education and assistance.” OSHA does NOT currently have any published standards regarding slip resistance; OSHA inspectors can issue citations to businesses and property owners for excessively slippery floors.