Head Off Litigation with Third-Party Confidential Periodic Floor Slip Resistance Testing

Slips and falls can result from a wide range of causes. To avoid litigation your commercial property needs to be immune to claims that your negligence caused an injury.

The most effective way of doing this is to have Safety Direct America periodically slip test your floors for slip resistance, and have your floor care personnel take action to eliminate any potential hazards that might be detected. Our written, professional-engineer-stamped confidential reports and recommendations in your file can have an almost magical effect in preventing claims of negligence against you for slip/fall injuries. We are certified by the City of Los Angeles for testing floor friction, and this is one of the very few government agencies in the United States that grants such certification. We have conducted walkway skid testing for the City of San Francisco and the City of Palo Alto, as well as other municipal governments and many commercial companies.

The Benefits. Our walkway traction auditing (slip resistance monitoring) programs include these potential benefits:

  •             Effective monitoring of your floor-care crew’s results
  •             Detection of changes occurring due to crew personnel turnover
  •             Cost-effective floor care decisions by you based on accurate, reliable data
  •             Easy-to-read reports documenting the status of your floors
  •             Floor-care vendor contractual accountability
  •             Compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) for slip resistance
  •             Compliance with OSHA slip resistance requirements
  •             Discharge of your duty to protect visitors to your property
  •             Improved employee efficiency and morale
  •             Fewer accidents
  •             Few (or no) frivolous or fraudulent claims
  •             Lower insurance premiums and deductibles payouts
  •             Less time and effort spent on litigation, including lawsuits

None of our monitoring clients has ever needed us to testify, but if it’s necessary we have experienced slip and fall expert witnesses that can help prepare and present your case. The important thing is to establish a monitoring history and positive actions (e.g. minor changes in floor maintenance procedures) to prove your due diligence in preventing slips.

Coefficient of Friction Test Program. If a floor area normally is dry in use it may be sufficient to have us only test it dry. For areas that get wet, we would monitor both dry and wet slip resistance to head off potential problems under either condition. For dry slip resistance testing, static coefficient of friction (SCOF) is usually sufficient. For wet testing, dynamic coefficient of friction (DCOF) is needed. We can conduct both tests in a matter of seconds using the same instrument used in ASTM E303.

The obsolete ASTM C1028 SCOF test was withdrawn by ASTM in 2014, so don’t rely on this floor slip test or on ASM 825A [not ASTM] test results. The latter is a static test similar to ASTM C 1028 but is not, and never has been, approved by any recognized standard-setting organization. When the floor is wet these two test methods are not useful for predicting pedestrian slip resistance and will have little or no credibility in your defense. Various other floor skid test methods are discussed in our online video.

In your floor monitoring program, some high-traffic areas should be monitored at least quarterly. Other areas might be traction audited only annually.

Contributing factors to slipping accidents include the person, footwear, activity, floor surface, or environment (e.g. restaurant, car wash, etc.). Make sure your floor surface — particularly, your negligence — is not to blame by calling George Sotter at Safety Direct America, 800-677-9821, today to discuss starting a traction auditing program for you.

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