BOT-3000E Manufacturer Advises Against Using ANSI/NFSI B101.3 and B101.1 to Assess Floor Slip Resistance

The manufacturer of the BOT-3000E digital tribometer is Regan Scientific Instruments of Carrollton (Dallas), Texas. Recently we asked Regan for an update on ANSI B101.3, “Test Method for Measuring Wet DCOF of Common Hard-Surface Floor Materials,” approved January 18, 2012, and ANSI/NFSI B101.1. We received a reply from Peter Ermish, President. Here’s part of his reply:

“Until recently, there were four American National Standards Institute (ANSI) standards for measuring the COF of walkways using the BOT 3000E tribometer. The following developments have now effectively reduced that number to one:

“1. The standards development committee that created the A137.1 and A326.3 standards is ANSI A108. In 2017, ANSI A108 incorporated the ANSI A326.3 measurement method standard into the A137.1 Standard which covers the full specification for manufacturing ceramic tile. Although the internet has many references to measuring slip resistance per ANSI A137.1, that standard itself calls for using ANSI A326.3 which is a method valid for all hard surface floors and not just ceramic [tile].”

(Since the original publication of this blog post, ASTM E303-22 was published in June of 2022, which is now the latest slip resistance test method for assessing real-world slip resistance based on 50 years of international research in at least 50 nations. This is the test we recommend for assessing slip risk.)

“2. In January 2020, the National Floor Safety Institute [NFSI] announced that their ANSI accreditation to develop floor safety standards has been terminated. [Since then, the article announcing this has been taken down from the internet, the NFSI somehow regained their publishing status with ANSI, and the NFSI started re-publishing their debunked standards through ANSI.] The two NFSI/ANSI standards for measuring floor slip resistance, B101.1 and B101.3, had both missed their respective deadlines [2014 and 2017] to be revised/renewed by the NFSI and have been, until January 2020, in an uncertain status. With the termination of the NFSI/ANSI accreditation, there can no longer be a renewal and those two standards effectively lapse.

“There is no longer any ANSI standard for measuring the Static Coefficient of Friction (SCOF), thus completing the transition in the United States away from the SCOF method to the globally recognized DCOF method.”

The new ANSI A326.3 is virtually identical to the older ANSI A137.1 tile slip test except that it did not involve the participation of the National Floor Safety Institute (NFSI). The Tile Council of North America [TCNA] was Secretariat for A326.3, which was released in April 2017 and updated again in 2021.

The TCNA endorsed and promoted the use of the horribly misleading and dangerous ASTM C1028 SCOF test for nearly two decades before it was withdrawn by the ASTM in 2014 for being based on junk science, and the TCNA continues to cater to the tile manufacturers that they appear to work for with ANSI A326.3, which states that “it can provide a useful comparison of surfaces, but does not predict the likelihood a person will or will not slip on a hard surface flooring material.” It should therefore not be used to assess slip risk. It goes on to say that “the measured DCOF value shall not be the only factor in determining the appropriateness of a hard surface flooring material for a particular application” and “no claim of correlation to actual footwear or human ambulation is made.

To trust ANSI A326.3 to assess real-world slip risk is to ignore what the test method itself says. Instead, using ASTM E303 can give architects, flooring manufacturers, and specifiers reliable data based on 50 years of internationally-accepted, peer-reviewed science into slip and fall accidents in over 50 nations. This is the dynamic coefficient of friction (DCOF) test used all over the world outside the highly litigious USA to help building owners and building designers avoid slip and fall lawsuits on their properties.

ANSI B101.1 was a method for assessing static coefficient of friction (SCOF) using the BOT-3000E. As discussed above, static friction applies only to pedestrians who are standing still and should not be used to assess the safety of moving pedestrians. This is why the ASTM C1028 SCOF method was withdrawn by the ASTM in 2014, and why the ANSI/NFSI B101.1 was allowed to lapse.

ANSI/NFSI B101.3 gave “acceptable” readings to almost every floor on earth, slippery or not. These two bogus test methods should never again be used to assess floor slip resistance. Instead, use the test method that the entire European Union, the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, China, India, Israel, and numerous other nations have been using for 50 years – the pendulum DCOF test described in ASTM E303-22. This latest test for floor slip resistance is based on good science and 50 years of international research.

BOT-3000E with current slip resistance test menu
BOT-3000E with current slip resistance test menu, which does not include B101.3

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