How to Get The Slip and Fall “Expert” Witness Testimony from an English XL VIT and Brungraber Mark IIIB User Thrown Out of Court

Slip and fall “expert” witnesses in the United States typically use either the English XL Variable Incidence Tribometer (VIT) or the Brungraber Mark IIIB, which is incredibly frightening considering that neither of these two instruments have a published, peer-reviewed test method in any country on earth, and both (the English XL and Brungraber Mark II, a slightly earlier version of the Mark IIIB with very few differences other than the name) have been found to lack precision by the ASTM International (American Society for Testing and Materials) and OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration). The lack of precision makes them both great devices for manufacturing manipulated and bogus test results, but they should not be allowed in our courtrooms since they have been found to be lacking scientific precision and they don’t have peer-reviewed published standards for their use.

Lack of Precision

The English XL and Brungraber Mark II/Mark IIIB “instruments” are amazingly and strangely popular among American slip and fall “experts”, especially considering these devices don’t have peer-reviewed published test methods for their use in any nation. Users of these devices have found that they often favor the defense, saying that slippery floors aren’t slippery. Most have also found that they can easily manipulate their machines to get “slippery” readings on floors that are not necessarily slippery at all. Both the English XL and Brungraber Mark II (also called the PIAST, or Portable Inclinable Articulated Strut Tribometer) devices have had their ASTM test methods withdrawn for their lack of precision. How these expert “liars for hire” continue to be allowed into courtrooms with these bogus, unscientific devices truly boggles the mind.

Test method ASTM F1679 was created for use of the English XL and was first published by the ASTM in 1996. ASTM F1677 was created for the use of the Brungraber Mark II the exact same year. (They are both now quietly listed as “historical” standards in muted gray printing on the ASTM website, which means they were withdrawn. See below for what the website used to say about WHY they were withdrawn.)

There are apparently insignificant differences between the Brungraber Mark II and the Mark IIIB. It certainly looks like the same instrument, but with grooves etched into the rubber slider, which likely does nothing to improve the inherent precision problem that the ASTM and OSHA found to be unacceptable. The most important between the Brungraber Mark II and the Brungraber Mark IIIB (besides the color of the instrument) seems to be the name change, which means they are now working with a device that has no published, peer-reviewed test method in any nation “because (as it’s users like to claim) it’s a patented device”, which excludes it from being able to have an ASTM standard. This is as opposed to an instrument that has a test method that was withdrawn due to a lack of precision, which was the fate of the Brungraber Mark II (which incidentally also happened to be a “patented device”).

The ASTM and OSHA Rejects the English XL and Brungraber Mark II

Both the F1677 and F1679 ASTM standards were incorporated by OSHA in 2001 to help with a problem in the steel industry where too many construction workers were slipping off steel girders to their deaths, though OSHA noted at the time that the test methods had not yet achieved supplying the required ASTM statements of precision and bias. At this point, the ASTM had been asking for a reasonable precision statement for these devices for five years. Under ASTM rules, these standards were provisional pending completion and approval of precision and bias statements.

OSHA then ruled in 2006, after a further five years of being misled and fooled by English XL and Brungraber Mark II/Mark IIIB users: “…Most significantly, there is a high probability that the test methods [ASTM F1677 and F1679] will not be validated through statements of precision and bias by the effective date and that ASTM, an industry standards association, is likely to withdraw them shortly thereafter…Therefore, the Agency [OSHA] has decided to revoke it.” OSHA was forced to stop endorsing the use of these devices to help the steel industry and others determine safe levels of slip resistance for floors and steel beams because the instruments lacked precision, and their users seemed to be making lame excuses as to why ten years wasn’t enough time to run one acceptable interlaboratory study showing they had the reasonable precision and bias required for ASTM standards.

Thereafter, on September 30, 2006, ASTM Committee on Standards (CoS) withdrew ASTM F1679 and ASTM F1677 “for failure to include an approved precision statement (violating Section A21 of the Form and Style for ASTM standards), and for including reference to proprietary apparatus where alternatives exist.” The English XL and Brungraber Mark II or Mark IIIB “instruments” have never again appeared by name in any other OSHA, ASTM, or ANSI standard, and neither has it appeared or been endorsed by standards publishing entities in Europe, the United Kingdom, Asia, or anywhere else in the world. These devices have never achieved the precision and bias statement required, after over 15 years of having the opportunity to run just one peer-reviewed interlaboratory study that would satisfy this requirement.

So the English XL VIT and Brungraber Mark II and their test methods were revoked and abandoned by both OSHA and the ASTM for failing to prove that they were scientific, precise, or reliable instruments to measure floor slip resistance.

In a published book by scholar and researcher In-Ju Kim called Pedestrian Fall Safety Assessments: Improved Understanding on Slip Resistance Measurements and Investigations, In-Ju also notes that the ASTM website stated in 2006 that F1677 and F1679 were withdrawn (see page 47 of his book) “for failure to include an approved precision statement.He goes on to state that, “Using these two instruments, different labs showed very different answers on identical tiles amongst interlaboratory studies. These findings suggested that both test methods [for the Brungraber Mark II and English XL] were unreliable and unable to provide ‘reasonable precision statements’ for slip resistance evaluations.”

From the same page of Mr. Kim’s Pedestrian Fall Safety Assessments, “However, the English XL Variable Incidence Tribometer (VIT) is still used commonly in the US, mostly by professional experts, who have discovered that the test results can be considerably influenced by how the actuating button is pressed by the user.” From page 108 of this same book, he says the English XL and Brungraber Mark II “are shown to yield different results for the same test.”

Experts Must Use Science That is Published and Subject to Peer Review

Most courts have some sort of requirements for who is allowed to be considered an “expert” in a particular field of study. In Nevada, for example, the Supreme Court requires an expert opinion to assist the trier of fact, being both relevant and the product of reliable methodology. This means the expert’s opinion must be:

(1) within a recognized field of expertise;

(2) testable and has been tested;

(3) published and subject to peer review;

(4) generally accepted in the scientific community;

(5) based on more particularized facts rather than assumption, conjecture, or generalization.

See Hallmark v. Eldridge, 124 Nev. 492,498, 189 P. 3d 646,650 (2008).

The failure to provide a precision and bias statement acceptable to the ASTM literally means that the two machines produced unreliable and inconsistent results, meaning repeatability and reproducibility in testing done under laboratory conditions produced unreliable and unscientific results.

Since both the English XL and Mark IIIB both do not have a published, peer-reviewed test method, it would seem impossible that a judge would allow such nonsense into a courtroom. Why not allow an “expert” to testify that the pool water in question was 80 degrees because the “expert” has a big toe that can measure water temperature? If an expert’s big toe cannot be considered a scientific device by the court, then neither should the English XL or Mark IIIB.

The methodology and related opinions these unscrupulous full-time “experts” attest to in case after case in American courtrooms are not testable nor have they been tested, they are not published nor subject to peer review, they are not generally (or at all) accepted in the international scientific community, and are not based upon facts, but are usually based upon misapplications of science, assumption, conjecture and misleading claims that their devices have been “validated” using a validation technique that they created themselves. The validation technique they created is ASTM F2508, and it does not validate a device at all. It was created to mislead the court.

ASTM F2508 Created by Mark IIIB and English XL Users to Mislead the Court

ASTM F2508 was published by the ASTM F13 committee based on a study that was done by full-time slip and fall expert witnesses soon after F1677 and F1679 were withdrawn in 2006. These “experts” needed a way to get their devices allowed into court now that their devices were without a provisionally “published”, (but never) peer-reviewed test method. Their test methods had been withdrawn by the ASTM and abandoned by OSHA.

Most of the authors of the study were users of the Brungraber Mark IIIB. And wouldn’t you know it?! The Brungraber Mark II and Mark IIIB were two of the four tribometers (floor slip resistance test instruments) that “passed” this misguided “validation test” described in the USC study, which later became the basis for ASTM F2508. (The other two testers that “passed” were both British Pendulum Testers. Seven tribometers failed to “pass”, including the English XL.) The study was reported in Powers CM, Mark Blanchette, John Brault “Validation of Walkway Tribometers: Establishing a Reference Standard,” Journal of Forensic Sciences, Vol 55, No. 2, March 2010.

Mr. Blanchette and Mr. Brault comprise two-thirds of a very busy “forensic expert consulting firm specializing in the biomechanics of human motion & injuries, walkway safety, and accident reconstruction,” whose website boasts them being involved in over 9,000 lawsuits and providing court testimony over 400 times. Just these three guys?! Wow! How do they find time to run a tribometer “study” that made their instrument appear “validated”? The third author, CM Powers, works for USC and provided the facility for the study to be carried out. Is it any wonder that the two main organizers and publishers of the “study” got exactly the result they were hoping for to help legitimize the business they run together providing slip and fall testimony for personal injury lawyers using the Brungraber Mark II and Mark IIIB? Curious, isn’t it?

In the “study”, four different flooring samples were chosen. Eleven different tribometers were brought into the lab and experts in their use tested the four tiles. The tribometer users ranked the four tiles in the order of slipperiness using the results from their testing. Then human subjects (who were effectively blindfolded) walked across the samples, and the number of micro-slips and slips that occurred as the human subjects walked across the samples were recorded for each flooring sample. Then the four samples were ranked in order of slipperiness based on the human subject part of the study. The Brungraber Mark IIIB (surprise!) and the British Pendulum (which has a peer-reviewed, published test standard in over 50 nations on five continents and has been in use for over 50 years) were the two instruments still in use today that had correctly ranked the four flooring samples in the correct order of slipperiness BEFORE the human subjects had done their part.

The English XL VIT is one of the seven tribometers that failed to “pass” the tribometer “validation” criteria in the initial research. After the “correct order” of the tiles were published, the English XL users were able to now get the “correct” answers (which of course are different answers than they got BEFORE the study was published), and so the English XL users will now claim their instrument has been “validated” through ASTM F2508. This just proves that their instrument can be manipulated to get different results for the same sample once they know what answer they need to get. That’s the only thing ASTM F2508 has validated for the English XL.

The Mark IIIB users, since their instrument has no published test standard anywhere on earth, will also make the claim that their instrument is “validated through ASTM F2508”, but this standard does not validate anything as a scientific instrument at all. Imagine you have three cups of water. One visibly has ice in it, one does not, and the third apparently has steam coming off the top of the water. If you can tell by looking at the three glasses what the “correct order” of the water temperatures in these glasses are (ice cold, room temperature, and steaming hot), then are your eyes now validated as thermometers? That’s precisely what ASTM F2508 tries to claim for tribometers.

A scientific instrument called a thermometer will not only be able to rank different glasses of water in their order of temperature, but they will give us a correct temperature reading (usually in Fahrenheit or Celsius) that can be verified by the international scientific community. For instance, a thermometer might tell us that the water with ice has a temperature of 32 degrees Fahrenheit, the room temperature water will perhaps have a reading of 75 degrees, and the water with the steam coming off the top is perhaps 180 degrees. Different thermometers that are valid scientific devices will always give us these correct answers within a degree or two, or they cannot be considered valid scientific devices.

ASTM F2508 says that if a thermometer (or tribometer, in the case of F2508) can rank the waters in order of temperature, that’s good enough to make it a valid thermometer to be used in court testimony. In the same way, if a tribometer can rank four tiles in their order of slipperiness (with the correct answers already published), then that tribometer is now “validated.” F2508 really is that ridiculous. According to the rules set forth in ASTM F2508, after all, each of our eyeballs could be considered thermometers. Somehow that nonsense has been fooling judges and juries all over the USA for over a decade now.

The Bogus “Everyone Knows 0.50 Is Considered Safe” Misinformation

Full time slip and fall “liars for hire” will often cite in their testimony that it’s “generally accepted that a coefficient of friction of 0.50 or greater is considered adequate for safety [on a level floor].” This is nonsense. Back in the days when vinyl floors were waxed (floor coatings made of actual wax are no longer used these days), the James Machine was used to test the dry static coefficient of friction (SCOF) of floor waxes. Static testing measures how slippery a floor is to someone who is standing still (static) on it. How does one slip while standing still on a clean and dry floor? Who knows? Who cares? That’s a totally misleading and bogus test for floor slipperiness.

This static test on clean and dry floors is still used today with test methods such as ASTM D2047 and UL 410, and the people doing the test and reporting the results on their flooring’s marketing materials like to ignore the fact that the test was created many decades ago to test clean and dry floor wax, and that it isn’t a measure of the slipperiness of a floor when someone is moving across it, and it isn’t testing a floor that may be wet or otherwise lubricated (where 99.999% of slip and fall injuries occur).

The James Machine test always considered a 0.50 SCOF or greater as “passing”, and you can be sure that just about every flooring on earth will be considered safe when clean, dry, and someone is just standing still on it. For this reason, the James Machine test is a very popular one among those who want to mislead consumers or courts with meaningless “slip resistance test” data. But this type of test is completely meaningless to assessing the real-world slip resistance of a floor.

Different slip resistance test methods will all have a different safety criterion. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) in the United Kingdom, along with help from the United Kingdom Slip Resistance Group (UKSRG), has found through five decades of real-world and laboratory floor slip resistance research that a pendulum test value (when floors are tested with the British Pendulum Tribometer) of 36 or greater for a level floor can be considered “low slip potential.” For indoor level floors expected to get wet, some limited research in Germany with another tribometer popular today in the United States called the BOT-3000E, considers a dynamic coefficient of friction (DCOF) of 0.42 “generally acceptable” in ANSI A326.3 (although the test method also says you must consider many other factors besides the DCOF, and that the test method is for comparing surfaces, not assessing whether or not someone will slip on a floor.) The now-withdrawn ASTM C1028 was mistakenly supposed to consider any SCOF over 0.60 to be considered “safe” for pedestrian traffic.

When someone claims that it’s “generally accepted that 0.50 is the safety threshold”, they are demonstrating their lack of knowledge of both tribometry (the study of floor friction) and science itself. Different instruments and test methods will all have a different safety criterion, similar to a Fahrenheit thermometer giving a different reading than a Celsius thermometer. Each tribometer has a different safety criteria, and that’s well-known in the international floor slip resistance testing community, and just plain common sense.

When an English XL user makes this “0.50 means safe” claim, they are showing even a higher level of ignorance, as the user manual of the English XL clearly states that the device measures something they call “slip resistance index”, which according to the user manual of the English XL is a measure of SCOF. To apply the safety criteria from an ancient dry SCOF floor wax test, when what you’re measuring is something called a “slip index” is simply ridiculous. People slip when they’re walking, not standing still, so the English XL is clearly measuring something that is irrelevant to pedestrian safety.

Typical English XL slip resistance test reports are usually filled with tons of misinformation and made-up stuff, such as that the ADA stated that 0.60 SCOF made a floor safe. Here’s the proof they never said that. The ADA themselves wrote us a letter saying “we never said that!” They refer to “accepted industry standards” without saying where these “accepted standards” come from, and they state safety criteria from other test methods (ASTM D2047 for testing floor wax, for instance) as if a number from another test will suit their test for a safety criterion. There’s zero science behind SCOF testing being helpful for preventing pedestrian slips and falls. But they do their best to make their reports SOUND like science with lots of photos and graphs and mentions of what OSHA once said (and then withdrew) and what the ADA apparently said (but never actually said) and what’s “generally accepted.”

Another thing the English XL user manual states is that the user should press down on the actuating button to release CO2 for about ½ second”. It’s a gas-powered machine, so using more gas will make the device say the floor is slippery, just like pressing your foot down on the gas pedal in your car will make it go faster. If the user releases less CO2 than the “½ second” required, then that’s one way to manipulate the machine to say a slippery floor isn’t slippery. If you can make a defense lawyer happy by saying a slippery floor that’s causing all kinds of problems for the building owner isn’t slippery, that’ll get you a lawyer client that’ll surely be back! Can you imagine anyone who knows exactly what “½ second” is?

In the case of the Brungraber Mark IIIB, their users are often very shy. They’ll insist that people stay far back from where they’re testing so no one can see what they’re doing or what results they’re getting. When I’m testing a floor, I don’t mind at all if someone videotapes my testing. Then there’s no argument as to whether I followed the test method accurately or what readings I got. It’s all there on the video. But the Mark IIIB users usually want to do their testing in secrecy. Why do you imagine that is?! Is the testing with their “patented device” patented as well?

In my experience, I have tested many, many floors for slip resistance over the years. We test flooring for architects and specifiers and building owners and flooring manufacturers who just want the truth. Occasionally I’ll run a test for a lawyer after a serious slip and fall incident has occurred, leaving the victim with life-altering and permanent injuries. After putting some water down on the floor, my finger, the heel of my hand, my shoe sole, and common sense (polished, shiny, reflective floors are almost always slippery when wet because they usually have no properties that would stop a slip once it has been initiated) told me that the floor was slippery. The pendulum tester, whose test method is based on 50 years of real-world, peer-reviewed research in at least 50 nations, confirmed that the floor was unacceptably slippery when wet. These lawsuits were clearly not “slip and fall scams”. These floors were clearly too slippery. Somehow, though, in each of these cases, the Brungraber Mark IIIB “expert” was able to get a reading saying the floor wasn’t slippery at all?!? I’ve seen this again and again and again. Is it any wonder why the “experts” using this device are so popular with personal injury attorneys?!

The “Standard was Only Withdrawn Because It’s a Proprietary Device” Lie

Users of the English XL VIT and Brungraber Mark II and Mark IIIB devices like to claim that the ASTM only withdrew their F1677 and F1679 standards in 2006 because the “instruments” described in those test methods were proprietary devices. That’s simply not true. From the ASTM website at the time, the ASTM stated as the withdrawn rationale for ASTM F1679 that, “this test method was withdrawn as an active ASTM standard by action of the Committee on Standards (CoS) on September 30, 2006 for failure to include an approved precision statement (violating Section A21 of the Form and Style for ASTM Standards), and for including reference to proprietary apparatus where alternatives exist (violating Section 15 of the Regulations Governing ASTM Technical Committees).” The withdrawn rationale for ASTM F1677 was precisely the same.

Mark IIIB users, almost all of whom presumably used to be Mark II users, will say their device cannot have an ASTM standard because it’s a proprietary device. That’s certainly comical considering these guys published an ASTM standard for their proprietary device (the Brungraber Mark II) in 1996, and then fought to keep it on the books for ten years before it was withdrawn.

As previously discussed, both OSHA and the ASTM were waiting for a reasonable, peer-reviewed precision statement to be submitted for these two devices, and after ten years of waiting (since the standards were first provisionally published in 1996, and the withdrawal happened in 2006), they were both forced to withdraw the standard (in the ASTM’s case) and stop the endorsement and use of the standards and their devices (in OSHA’s case). Any user of these devices that doesn’t know this history can certainly not be considered an expert in this field.

Also, did all the voting members of the ASTM F13 committee who voted to (provisionally) publish these standards (most of whom do slip and fall expert witness work) without a reasonable precision statement yet in existence only realize that the English XL and Mark II devices were proprietary after ten years of the standard being an active (but provisional) published standard? Why did they publish a standard for a proprietary device when they knew it was against ASTM rules? Either these “experts” didn’t realize they were using a patented device for all those years, or they didn’t understand ASTM rules. Either way, this makes them the opposite of “experts in their field”, doesn’t it? Their “it was only withdrawn because it’s a proprietary device” nonsense is clearly not the case. This is clearly a lie they use to mislead the court. The lack of precision was well documented in the decisions made in 2006 by both OSHA and the ASTM.

The investigations by both OSHA and the ASTM that ended up with the withdrawal of test methods and the end of testing with the English XL and Brungraber Mark II devices revealed that these devices were “not objective”, ”not sufficiently reliable”, OSHA had an ”unacceptably low degree of confidence” that any precision statement would ever be submitted to the ASTM (and apparently they were right), and the test methods were found to be “scientifically unsound”, according to publicly available documents.

Cases Where the Slip and Fall “Expert” Testimony was Thrown Out

Pursuant to Federal Rule 702, the trial judge should act as a gatekeeper to make sure that all expert testimony or evidence is both relevant and reliable. The English XL and Brungraber Mark II have been found to be the opposite of relevant and reliable by the ASTM, OSHA, and several judges.

In Boucher vs. Venetian Casino Resort, Case No. A-18-773651-C (March 7, 2022, Eighth Jud. Dist. Ct., Clark County, NV), the court said it hereby finds that [the English XL user’s] purported expert opinions are insufficient under Hallmark v. Eldridge, 124 Nev. 492, 189 P.3d 646 (2008), and the expert opinion was stricken.

In Kill v. Seattle, 183 Wash. App. 1008, *1-*2 (Wash. App. 2014), the court held that an individual cannot validate a tribometer himself, but rather an independent testing facility can.

In Mincey v. Parsippany Inn, 2010 N.J. Super. Unpub. Lexis 2690 (N.J. Sup. Ct. App. Div. Nov. 8, 2010), in regard to the lack of an accepted industry standard attached to the wet vs. dry English XL test, the court found that the expert is essentially testifying that the surface is more slippery when it is wet. That is common sense, so the expert’s testimony did not aid the jury and the expert opinion was stricken.

In Fedor v. Freightliner, Inc., 193 F. Supp. 2d 820 (E.D. Pa. 2002), the court excluded the opinions of a plaintiff expert because he offered no discernible methodology upon which he had based his opinion regarding a decrease in surface friction.

In Michaels v. Taco Bell Corp., 2012 U.S. Dist. Lexis 140283 (D. Or. Sept. 27, 2012), an expert using the English XL tribometer to assess the floor in a Taco Bell was excluded because the withdrawal from ASTM standards informed why the instrument did not have a reliable methodology that met the standards of 702 because the instrument cannot be properly calibrated to a standard.

In Steffen v. Home Depot, 2014 WL 1494108, No. CV-13-199-JLQ (E.D. Wash. 2014), the court relied on a 2010 article published in the Journal of Forensic Sciences documenting a study of 11 different tribometer models, which tested four different surfaces (the granite, porcelain, tile, and vinyl composite used in ASTM F2508). The article concludes that “different tribometers yield different COF values for a given surface” and that “care should be taken in the interpretation of tribometer measurements in determining the safety of various walkway surfaces.” (ECF No. 22, Ex. 3). Of the 11 tribometers tested in the USC study, the English XL was one of seven failing to meet the test criteria and produce acceptable results.

Summary Conclusion of the Slip and Fall Disinformation Game Used by English XL and Mark IIIB Users

The slip and fall injury lawsuit business in the United States is a virtual gold rush. Driving on any highway in any US city, one will find dozens of billboard ads for personal injury attorneys, each vowing to fight for you and get you the money you deserve for your injuries. Slip and fall “experts” have found ways to get unproven and unscientific devices allowed into American courtrooms by stacking the ASTM F13 committee with voting members who are a part of their slip and fall “liar for hire” industry.

The ASTM F13 members are tasked with creating and publishing slip resistance test methods in the USA, but now they are making sure that no test method for reliable and proven floor slip resistance test instruments ever get published. They are in the majority in the F13 committee, so they have created a stalemate where nothing of value will ever again get published while they’re in charge and in the majority. That is now their stated mission. If their instruments can’t have a standard, then no instrument will! This is to help further their careers as full-time slip and fall expert liars for hire.

They make fools of the ASTM Committee on Standards by pretending they’re busy publishing things, but they’re just publishing nonsensical things like ASTM F2048, which explains the “Standard Practice for Reporting Slip Resistance Test Results”. General nonsense is published in “standards” like these that tell you to write your name on your slip resistance test report, make sure to number the pages, report the temperature at which you took your readings, and be sure to put a smiley face at the end of it. It’s just useless nonsense that doesn’t help anyone determine the slipperiness of a floor, but it makes it look like the F13 committee is busy doing something.

The elected leaders of the ASTM F13 committee over the years, of course, have been English XL and Mark IIIB users. The chairman, as of the time of this publication, is a registered English XL user, and the Vice-Chairman is none other than the man who is exclusively “responsible for…sales and servicing of Brungraber-designed [Mark II and Mark IIIB] walkway friction testing devices.” The present Recording Secretary is an author of the USC study that became ASTM F2508 to help falsely “validate” the Mark IIIB tribometer, and the chairman at the time that study became the ASTM F2508 standard was none other than the other main author of the USC tribometer study. The “experts” using unproven instruments and withdrawn test methods have taken over, and they’ll make sure no other reliable test methods get published.

The victims of this game these slip and fall “experts” are playing within the ASTM F13 committee is every pedestrian in America, since building owners and architects can’t be sure if a floor is slippery or not before a slip injury happens because there is literally no present F13-published ASTM standard for any particular instrument for testing the slip resistance of floors that hasn’t been withdrawn. The winners, of course, are the very slip and fall “experts” running and making up the majority of voting members in the ASTM F13 committee. They WANT serious slip and fall injuries happening across the country each and every day! That’s how they get their pay! The more serious, life-altering slip injuries happening to more innocent people across America, the better for them! Their office phone rings and rings! The fox has essentially been allowed to construct the chicken coop himself, secret doors and all.

If there continues to not be a valid, peer-reviewed, published test method for assessing the slip resistance of a floor detailing the use of a reliable and proven test instrument in the ultra-litigious United States, then the unscrupulous “liars for hire” can make a great living spewing half-cocked excuses as to why they are using a test method that was withdrawn, or an instrument that doesn’t have a peer-reviewed test method in any country. They can publish studies and articles and create bogus “validation techniques” through the ASTM to fool judges and juries so that they can continue to use the machines they have learned to manipulate to get the “correct answers”, depending on whether they’ve been hired by the plaintiff’s attorney or the defense attorney.

Recently, two test methods have been published that creates some challenges for their lucrative slip and fall expert “liar for hire” game. ANSI A326.3 was written mostly by representatives of the American tile industry (and concrete and stone polishing industries), and it sets an incredibly low bar for safety. The standard is full of disclaimers and warnings that one should not use the DCOF values given in the standard as the minimum required as the minimum required (it states you must also consider several other factors, and no guidance is given on how to consider them), and it also says plenty of other purposefully confusing things such as ANSI A326.3 should be used as “a useful comparison of surfaces, but does not predict the likelihood a person will or will not slip on a hard surface flooring material.” This makes the recently published ANSI A326.3 test method good for the defense (if you ignore all the disclaimers), and it is mainly used to help sell slippery flooring in America. It essentially replaced the even worse ASTM C1028, which was withdrawn in 2014.

ASTM E303-22, on the other hand, was published in June of 2022. It utilizes the British Pendulum Slip Resistance Test Device, which has a published, peer-reviewed test method for its use in at least 50 nations on five continents and has been in use for over 50 years. It’s easily the most widely accepted and trusted slip resistance test device in the world today, and it can be used in the lab and the field. It’s been used in countless international interlaboratory studies, and it correctly ranked the four tiles in the previously mentioned ASTM F2508 study BEFORE the results were published.

John Sotter of Safety Direct America did the work of revising the ASTM E303-93 (2022) standard, which was first published in 1993 and historically was used to measure the slip resistance of roads in the USA. ASTM E303-22 now more closely mirrors the pendulum slip resistance test methods used to measure the slip potential of floors across Europe, Australia, Asia, and most of the rest of the world. This will likely bring a storm of full-time expert “liars for hire” from the ASTM F13 committee over to the ASTM E17 committee that published the revised version of ASTM E303, and the F13 members will certainly do everything in their power to make sure the E303 test method either goes away or is somehow only allowed to be used to test roads. They can’t have a test method published for testing the slip resistance of floors! That defeats their purpose in leading and stacking the F13 committee with English XL and Mark IIIB users to make sure nothing gets published! What excuse will they have now for using withdrawn test methods or instruments that have no test method?! This will be very bad for the game they’re playing within our courts.

The slip and fall “expert” witness game is a lucrative one, and integrity has no place in the hearts and minds of many of the people playing the game as “experts.” Time will tell, but we can be sure that reliable, science-backed test methods for assessing the real-world slip resistance of flooring based on decades of international research will be blocked by the expert “liars for hire” in America’s ASTM F13 committee.

For now, ASTM E303 can allow building owners, flooring manufacturers, architects and specifiers to know the truth about the slip potential of floors based on 50 years of international research. When ASTM E303 is somehow blocked or excluded from testing floors by a coalition of whining expert liars, Sotter Engineering Corporation will go back to using the peer-reviewed published test methods for the use of the British Pendulum to assess the slip resistance of floors from Europe and the United Kingdom (BS EN 16165:2021) or the Australia/New Zealand standards (AS/NZS 4586 and AS/NZS 4663). A test method doesn’t need to be American to give you the truth. In fact, in this field of study, the worst tests published in the world have usually all been American. (See the long list of withdrawn ASTM slip resistance test standards from over the decades: C1028, F1677, F1679, F462, F609, etc., etc.)

The truth matters. That’s what we specialize in when we test floors for slip resistance at Sotter Engineering.

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