The 2012 International Building Code changed slip resistance requirements for indoor floors that may get wet in use. The previously-used ASTM C 1028 friction test method is obsolete, and testing using the AcuTest method in ANSI A137.1 slip test must show a minimum of 0.42 wet dynamic coefficient of friction — but many other factors must be considered, and 0.42 is likely not adequate in most cases. (The code is specific to ceramic tile, but there’s no obvious reason why the same requirement shouldn’t apply to all indoor flooring.)
Not considering the other slip risk factors may expose you to charges of negligence. This is true whether you are a building owner or an architect or engineer putting your professional seal on plans. (Many other names usually also appear once lawsuits are filed.) Ensuring adequate safety is your job — getting the 0.42 that’s shown as a minimum in the Code does not ensure it. Not even close. If it were a grade in school, 0.42 would be a D minus.
It’s not adequate or prudent to take a flooring manufacturer’s catalog value to be the future slip resistance of the flooring after it’s installed. Things can go wrong at several stages, and inappropriate cleaning or maintenance can destroy the wet slip resistance of the flooring even before the building is opened. Slip resistance testing and periodic monitoring by Safety Direct America can help ensure that expensive and embarrassing problems caused by your negligence don’t occur.
Watch this five-minute video and you’ll be a slip resistance expert! Want more detail? Click PRESENTATION LACSI. This material was presented to the Construction Specifications Institute’s Los Angeles Chapter.
Slip Resistance Requirements of the 2012 International Building Code