Floor Safety Testing
Do you need slip-resistance testing to determine traction levels? We can help!
Over 8 million slip-and-fall accidents occur in North America every year, with over 600,000 resulting in hospitalization. But here at Vezigrip Surface Solutions, we are in the business of preventing slips and falls – safety is our goal. Our floor safety auditors follow strict protocols and procedures to ensure that you get the most accurate slip test followed by a detailed audit report with recommended remedial actions if applicable.All of our testing follows the ANSI 326.3 standard.
Our specialty is helping businesses and individuals reduce the risk of slip and fall accidents by testing any walkable surface for slip resistance using advanced technology. Our state of the art testing equipment combined with many years of experience in the field of safety brings immense value to any organization with a high regard to safety and efforts to reduce the risk of slip-and-fall accidents.
Our team of qualified auditors provide in-field Coefficient of Friction (COF) testing on all hard walkway surfaces. COF testing is the measurement of slip resistance potential on hard surface flooring materials. Our knowledgeable and experienced Walkway Auditors not only test but also help determine how to increase traction if areas are rated as low traction. We follow the standards set forth by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI).
We are capable of slip testing a large range of surfaces, including tiles, concrete, metal, vinyl and various other types of floors. As building trends evolve and new and unique materials are used for flooring, slip-coefficient testing is important to consider. All walking surfaces should be tested for DCOF or SCOF levels.
SCOF – The Old Measurement System
Prior to 2012, the coefficient of friction (slip resistance) for ceramic tile was tested using the method specified in ASTM C1028, which provided the Static Coefficient of Friction (SCOF). In this test, water was placed on the floor and a weighted plate with a sensor was placed over the water. The sensor measured the force required to set the weighted plate in motion. However, this test is not appropriate for measuring the slipperiness of floors since people are generally already in motion and are trying to STOP slipping instead of trying to start slipping. In addition, the testing method was susceptible to variations in running the test including human error. ASTM C1028 was deemed to be ineffective at measuring the slipperiness of floors.
Under the old SCOF standard, commercial floors required a slip resistance of 0.60 SCOF; however, ASTM C1028 is no longer used to test the slip resistance of tile.
DCOF – The New Standard Measurement
In 2012, the American National Standards Institute updated their ANSI 137.1 standard to change the measurement system for tile slip resistance to DCOF, or Dynamic Coefficient of Friction. The new test measured the amount of force required to keep an object in motion as it slides over a tile. This new test better reflected real life situations where a person slips on wet tile. The new test is called the DCOF Acutest.
ANSI 137.1 was updated again in 2017. The new update incorporates ANSI 326.3, which is the American National Standard Test Method for Measuring Dynamic Coefficient of Friction of Hard Surface Flooring Materials. This standard provides a test method, but also includes discussion about how the wet DCOF value of 0.42 is acceptable as a minimum value for surfaces that are expected to be walked on when wet with water. The standard can be downloaded from the Tile Council of North America.
The International Building Code references ANSI A137.1 as the standard for installation of ceramic tile.
Tribometer Measuring Device
The device used to measure the new DCOF is called a tribometer and the most common device used is the BOT-3000. It is a fully automatic device that drags itself across the floor and measures the slip resistance of a rubber pad that is attached to the bottom of the device. Human interaction is not required, except for the press of a button to start the test, so the results are more reliable than the old SCOF tests.
Slip Resistance for Level Interior Floors
The new measurements in ANSI 137.1-2017 and ANSI A326.3 require that tiles wet with water have a minimum slip resistance of 0.42 DCOF. Keep in mind that this is a minimum level of slip resistance for level interior floors that are wet with water. Other situations, such as standing water, oil, grease, or other slippery substances, may require higher DCOF numbers.
It is also important to point out that a DCOF of 0.42 doesn’t necessarily equate to a safe floor; nor does a DCOF below 0.42 indicate a dangerous floor. For instance, A326.3 points out that hard surfaces with a DCOF of less than 0.42 are often used in shopping malls and hotel lobbies, but the materials are kept dry and safe cleaning procedures are used. The specifier of hard flooring materials must make a floor selection based on many factors that can affect occupant safety.
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