Slip Resistance standards articles, an international view

Various countries have different slip resistance standard and different values or range of values that is considered safe. The Australian and New Zealand standard HB 197:1999 does not recommend any specific value to be safe, but assigns a minimum value – either ramp or Pendulum or both - that is considered to be the minimum acceptable slip resistance for the specific environment and floor surface. Because of this the AS/NZS specification is considered as one of the best.

The following articles are providing an international view on slip resistance.

From the United States

Press release by the Ceramic Tile Institute of America Inc, 8 January 2008 by Gray LaFortune and George Sotter

This article talks about the latest slip resistance standards employed in the US.

"In a program to better evaluate all types of hard and resilient floors, the non-profit Ceramic Tile Institute of America announced it is endorsing improved slip-resistance test methods and more effective slip resistance safety standards.

Gray LaFortune, CTIOA Director, said this innovation encourages use of the endorsed test methods and safety standards for not only for ceramic tile, but also natural stone, vinyl and linoleum, terrazzo, concrete, and wood flooring. He asks U.S. tile manufacturers to provide the new slip safety information for architects, designers and consumers.”

Click on Improved Slip Resistance Test to read more.

Current Slip Resistance Testing Standards
Revised September 29, 2006 by William English

This article talks about the various current slip resistance standards employed in the US.

"There are a number of standards for measuring walkway surface traction, some of which have some validity, and some have been demonstrated to be invalid. Almost any slipmeter having a rubberoid friction pad will find that clean dry surfaces are not slippery. That is, they will not find any surface that is much below .50 under dry conditions. But since nobody is slipping and falling while walking on clean dry surfaces with rubber shoes on, and since nearly all slip/fall accidents arise from some contaminant on the surface, any tribometry method that cannot meter the floor in the contaminated condition is uninteresting to the safety practitioner. It is important to be able to meter the traction properties of the floor under actual use conditions”

Click on Current Slip Resistance Testing Standards to read more.

Top 10 Ways of Stopping Slip Falls
by George Sotter P.E., PH.D.

This is a very recent and excellent article about the various ways of preventing slip falls and current slip resistance trend in the US.

"As the average age of the Americans increases, we become more vulnerable to more fall accidents. Hip fractures are the most common fall related fractures suffered by seniors; each year some 240,000 hip fractures occur among people older than 50 years.

Surgery cost alone exceed $65,000 per accident, and at least half of the victims are hospitalised for hi fracture can not return home or live independently after the fracture.

Those than can have increased risk of falling again, and the Americans with Disabilities Act ensures their right to safe conditions.”

Click on Top 10 ways of Stopping Slip Falls to read more.

From the United Kingdom
Slips and Trips – relevant Laws and Standards

HSE Health and Safety Executive

This article talks about the various current laws, acts and slip resistance standards employed in the UK.

"Under the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974

Click on Slips and Trips – relevant Laws and Standards to read more.

Frequently Asked Questions
UK Slip Resistance Group

This article answers some of the frequently asked question relating to standards, measurements, testing and surfaces.

Why Do People Slip Over?
When we walk we need friction between the shoe/sole and the ground to enable us to do so. If that friction is not sufficient then we slip.

Why Is A Wet Surface More Slippery Than A Dry One?
The water on the surface acts as a lubricating film in the same way as oil in an engine. It is often known as the 'hydrodynamic lubricating film' or'squeeze film'

How Is The Coefficient Of Friction Defined?
If a body of weight W is resting on a horizontal surface and requires a horizontal force F to move it, then the coefficient of friction numerically is F/W and is referred to as µ.

Click on Frequently Asked Questions to read more.

From the United Kingdom and other European countries
Slip Resistance


This article is in pdf format and down loadable. It talks about the various current slip resistance standards employed in the UK, France and Italy.

"Over the last few years, increased importance has been placed on designing-out the risk of slipping on floor coverings in commercial applications in regular contact with water, mud, oil and grease, agents which cause floor tiles to have less adherence than if they were dry and had a clean surface.

This section deals with commercial applications rather than domestic: this includes public areas, restaurants and canteens, office reception areas, retail and fashion, shopping centres, commercial kitchens, schools and hospitals, transport and industry.

It has been calculated that the annual cost of slip and trip injuries to society could be over £750 million (more than £360 million directly related to the workplace).

Wherever floor tiles are used, the onus falls on the specifier to choose an appropriate finish in terms of performance and design. There is also a duty of care to provide solutions to potential problem areas where function has to take precedence over form and safety issues override cost."

Click on Slip Resistance to download the pdf file.

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