ANSI/NFSI has come out with many different standards in regards to reducing slips, trips and falls. Their latest standard B101.6-2012 “Standard Guide for Commercial Entrance Matting in Reducing Slips, Trips and Falls”, was just released and provides information on the selection, installation, inspection, care and maintenance of entrance flooring in commercial facilities. Elements such as soil, moisture, contaminants, edge treatments and improper use are all factors in slip and fall accidents. The Founder and President of NFSI states that “although entrance way matting can play a significant role in preventing accidental slips by removing moisture from pedestrian footwear, they often contribute to trips and falls when buckled, curled, or flipped over. As the number of floor mat related trip-and-fall lawsuits continues to rise we believe that this ground breaking new standard provides a new standard of effective care in the proper use, maintenance and inspection of entranceway floor matting.”
Another ANSI/NFSI standard B101.1-2009 “Test Method for Measure Wet SCOF of Common Hard Surface Floor Materials” was published, establishing the first wet test method for flooring. The standard does not simply categorize walkways safe or unsafe due to its coefficient of friction value, but identifies its traction range into three categories:
- High Traction: surfaces whose wet SCOF is 0.6 or greater
- Moderate Traction: walkways whose wet SCOF is below a 0.6 but greater than a value of 0.4
- Low Traction: walkways which possess a wet SCOF of less than 0.4
In helping consumers make a more informed decision as it relates to product selection, NFSI has offered manufacturers of flooring materials, a way to have their products independently evaluated for their slip resistance. The certification process consists of two phases; a laboratory test and real-world application for minimum of 30 days. If the product still meets the 0.6 wet SCOF, it is then Certified by the NFSI as High Traction. The BOT-3000 is a digital tribometer that determines slip resistance.
When choosing a slip resistant flooring product for an entrance way, walkway or stairway, it’s crucial to look into its coefficient of friction, chemical resistance for cleaning purposes, and durability for traffic and wear. It may be beneficial to install a permanent product such as ADA compliant stainless steel grating, so that you wouldn’t need to worry about a rug or mat buckling and causing a trip and fall. Mats also absorb dirt and water, which isn’t the most sanitary option.
If stainless steel grating is chosen, it should have no more than ½” wide spaces and the elongated openings should be perpendicular to the direction of travel. Slip resistant stainless steel grating is an ideal solution because it falls under the High Traction category, it’s extremely durable with a file hard surface and it can withstand all weather conditions.
“Latest Walkway Safety Standard Announced.” PRWeb. N.p., n.d. Web. 22 Aug. 2013.