Slip Resistance Testing

A couple of months ago, we published a page on the latest slip resistance test standards on our website. This was because we often have our phone ring with people who are having problems with their slippery floor and they would like to have it tested. However, they either don’t know which test is best for them, or they have heard from some other source that they need a particular test which may be either out of date or misleading in reality. So we hope that this page answers many of the questions people have about which test standards and methods are up-to-date and which are relevant.

We recommend the modern pendulum test, the SlipAlert (or iAlert as it’s now called), and the Tortus tribometer for assessing slip risk. Static tests such as C1028, the James Machine, UL 410, ASTM D2047, and the ASM 725/825A are virtually worthless tests and mislead you into thinking your floor is safe (almost ALL floors are safe with these tests) when actually you have a “lawsuit waiting to happen-type floor”.

The English XL and Brungraber Mark II are two test standards which have been withdrawn by the ASTM. Don’t let other websites fool you! These test standards were withdrawn for good reason! An experienced operator of these machines can get virtually any answer they want on any floor. Sooo….pay someone with an English XL to say your floor is safe? Bam! They will say it’s safe. Pay him to say the same floor is slippery when wet? Bam! That same guy on the same floor with the same machine will tell you that same floor is slippery if you’ve got his check in your hand ready to be cashed. THAT is the main reason why the test methods were withdrawn and no longer exist. They are not valid scientific instruments.

We’re not trying to save the world, but we are brutally honest here at Safety Direct America, and we only endorse floor slip resistance test methods that have been approved by responsible agencies and cannot be easily manipulated by the user to give false results. We are in frequent contact with THE experts in floor friction testing around the world. The USA is still the “wild west” of slip resistance testing, where full-time professional witnesses and other lobbyists push “easy to pass” test methods through for the gain of themselves or their companies.

The UK, Germany and Australia have been on the forefront of research into slip resistance testing methods for decades, and now the US is finally beginning to catch up…with a little help from us here at SDA. (That’s not super-ego, that’s honestly the truth.) The ASTM E303-22 pendulum dynamic coefficient of friction test method was updated by us to mimic more closely the floor slip resistance test methods used in most other countries around the world. More on that to come …

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