The Significance of Safe Flooring: Solving Slippery Floor Issues

The Significance of Safe Flooring: Solving Slippery Floor Issues

The Significance of Safe Flooring: Solving Slippery Floor Issues

Slippery floors create hazardous conditions that increase the likelihood of accidents. As a business owner or manager, it is crucial to take preventative action to reduce risk in your business. By auditing your floor surfaces for slipperiness, you can ensure the safety of employees, customers, and visitors. A safe floor environment is essential for supporting a secure and productive workspace.

Understanding the Risk of Slippery Floors.

Knowingly operating with hazardous, slippery floors can bring extreme risks to your business. Disregarded hazards bring exposure to unwanted liabilities, with legal implications that can put your business at risk. Accidents and injuries resulting from slippery surfaces can lead to employee downtime, workers compensation claims, lawsuits and negative reviews.

Dealing with any of these issues can affect your own productivity and revenue. A slippery floor is much more than an inconvenience, it is an active risk, the first domino in a sequence of consequences that includes dealing with insurance companies, lawyers, or being forced to do major floor replacement projects that could have been prevented or mitigated.

How Can You Measure Your Floor Safety Risk?

It’s all about the “µ” ... The Coefficient of Friction.

You’ll probably remember this if you’ve taken a physics course but understanding the importance of this value for slip and fall prevention is widely unknown. Evaluating the traction level of a flooring surface is based on the values of Static Coefficient of Friction (SCOF) and Dynamic Coefficient of Friction (DCOF)—both important measurements to consider when evaluating the risk level your surface traction levels present.

The best traction level should be found by considering the environment the surface will be exposed to daily. A kitchen area in the back of a restaurant or the entranceway to a building will require higher traction levels compared with an office space that receives limited foot traffic. Any exposure to elements such as liquids, dust or debris will increase the possibility of a slip and fall occurring; therefore, you should plan accordingly with your floor purchases and cleaning maintenance methods.

Understanding Different types of Friction Measurements

Static - SCOF

The coefficient of static friction is the friction force between two objects when neither of the objects are moving. This value is important when considering "How likely is a slip going to occur?"  With a high SCOF reading, the likelihood that your foot will slip out beneath you is diminished, but it does not mean a slip is impossible, just less likely—think of it this way—The "Static Moment" occurs when the heel of your shoe makes initial contact with a surface. If the SCOF of the walking surface is low, the heel may begin to slip forward.


Dynamic - DCOF

The dynamic coefficient of friction will help paint the picture of "How far will one slip?"  Dynamic or "kinetic" implies that the object (in this case, a human in a slip and fall) is in motion. The DCOF value only comes into play once the heel breaks the static threshold and begins to slide. How dangerously fast and far the heel might slide will be assessed by the dynamic friction level.


When considering the SCOF or DCOF of a product, it is important to know which testing method was used to produce that value. Does the test consider a dry or wet surface? What type of sensor material was used? What device was used to produce the COF values?

Without all of this information a COF value doesn't mean much.

Additionally, some testing methods are outdated and no longer recognized by any national standard developers—plus some standards only apply to the manufacturer, meaning the COF values may not be sustained once the product is applied or installed in a real-world setting. These factors are extremely important to analyze when assessing your slippery floor issues.

If the wrong testing standard or method is used, a false sense of security can be created about an otherwise slippery floor or the opposite, doing unneeded treatments on floors that were not assessed correctly.

Below are a few testing methods that are widely in use today in the United States.

Current Standards Developers: 

Current Field-Testing Methods: 

- NFSI B101.0-2021 Walkway Surface Auditing Procedure for the Measurement of Walkway Surface Traction. This standard provides the technical procedures for walkway auditing and measuring the coefficient of friction (tribometry) of walkway surfaces in both public and private facilities.

- NFSI B101.1: Test Method for Wet SCOF of Common Hard-Surface Floor Materials. This standard applies to both laboratory and field testing of most common hard surface walkways.

- NFSI B101.3: Test Method for Wet DCOF of Common Hard-Surface Floor Materials. This test method also applies to flooring surfaces tested in the lab and in the field.

- ANSI A137.1 (also known as the "AcuTest™"): Quality Control Test Method for Wet DCOF of Uninstalled Ceramic Tile. This test method applies to ceramic and like surfaces only and is only to be used as a quality control test on uninstalled tile.

Find a Solution to Provide Safe and Effective Anti-Slip Treatments

After properly auditing your floors and understanding your high-risk walkway areas, choosing solutions for your prevention or remediation plan is the next step to having a proper walkway safety program in place. Utilizing proven anti-slip treatments is crucial in addressing slippery floor issues.

Since 1995, No Skidding Products Inc. has focused on solving this problem, and offers a range of anti-slip floor treatments that provide clear, long-lasting, and economical solutions for natural unsealed slippery-when-wet tile floors, including ceramic tile, porcelain, concrete, quarry tile, granite, and most other hard surfaces.

We can help find the right solution for your facility and become a trusted partner to develop your walkway safety program to create a safe environment, mitigating risk with effective anti-slip solutions. Our comprehensive product offering also includes anti-slip floor coatings, anti-slip and safety tapes, and FRP (fiberglass reinforced polymer) stair treads and walkway panels. Let us help you find a solution today.