Understanding Regulatory Standards
We’ve prepared this guide to help you understand regulatory slip resistance standards.
Who Governs Slip Resistance Standards?
Slip resistance guidelines are primarily promulgated and enforced by two Federal Agencies
1. The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) under Title 29 of the Code of Federal Regulations
2. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) under the Americans with Disabilities Act.
There are also a number of private organizations involved in establishing test standards and conducting testing to determining slip resistance, which we’ll cover in detail below.
OSHA presents its requirements in 29 CFR 1910.22, which addresses the issue of slip resistance only in the broadest of possible terms under general “Housekeeping” requirements.
OSHA provides a more specific “recommendation” in Volume 55, No. 69 of the Federal Register published Tuesday, April 10, 1990. Section 1910.22. Paragraph 2 offers a static coefficient of friction (SCOF) recommendation of 0.5.
EEOC, under the Americans with Disabilities Act requirements are listed in Appendix B, section 4.5 Ground and Floor Surfaces, again in very broad terms. Specific recommendations are offered in Appendix B, section A4.5.1. This section of the ADA makes reference to the OSHA recommended SCOF of 0.5, but based on a research project sponsored by the Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board (Access Board) conducted to determine the requirements of persons with disabilities, recommends a higher SCOF of 0.6.
OSHA & EEOC: Common Ground
Both agencies note that coefficients of friction can vary considerably, even on the same surfaces, due to a number of variables including footwear, temperature, humidity, the presence of contaminants, water, etc. Consequently, these SCOFs are offered as recommended guidelines, not specific, enforceable, regulatory standards.
There are also a number of private organizations involved in establishing test standards and conducting testing to determining slip resistance. Three of the most widely recognized are Underwriters Laboratories (UL), the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) and the National Floor Safety Institute (NFSI) who works with the International Standards Organization (ISO.)
Underwriters Laboratories (UL)
UL is widely recognized throughout industry for their testing and certification services. The consideration with UL, however, is that although the assumption is that they are using industry standard test procedures and following the recommendations of the governing regulatory agencies, they don’t publish or provide any information regarding their test procedures or the actual results of their testing. UL simply provides statements that products are certified by UL as meeting their slip resistance standards.
The American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM)
The other widely recognized company in the industry, ASTM, works differently than UL. ASTM actually establishes and publishes test procedures. Relative to slip resistance, ASTM has established and published a broad range of procedures using various types of test equipment for a broad range of surfaces.
National Floor Safety Institute
The National Floor Safety Institute works with the International Standards Organization to establish slip resistance testing procedures and standards for a broad range of flooring, applications and environments.
Perma: Our Own Laboratory
And On-Site Field Testing
While our products already meet or exceed OSHA, ADA, and NFSI/ISO standards, we go one step further and draw upon 70 years of industry experience and perform both laboratory and on site field testing of slip resistance characteristics.
We test across our broad range of resilient tile, ceramic tile, wood and concrete coatings using horizontal pull static coefficient of friction meters per ASTM test standard F-609.
Static coefficient of friction statistics listed on Perma specification sheets (“Spec Sheets”) simply verify that Perma’s products meet or exceed the OSHA recommendations when tested using ASTM standard F-609 and may not represent the most recent actual test results. .
We Conduct Slip Testing
Every Time a Product Changes
Perma conducts slip resistance testing of our floor coatings whenever a formulation or raw material supplier is changed and periodic slip resistance testing to verify continuity of slip resistance characteristics over time.
If A Customer Has A Concern
We Conduct Specific Tests
We conduct specific laboratory and site testing whenever a customer expresses a concern over slip resistance characteristics of any material they receive which was produced by Perma Inc. The actual results of our most recent slip resistance test procedures are always available upon request – simply reach out and we will provide our data.