Billions of dollars on the average are spent to pay out medical and compensation costs due to slip and fall accidents in the United States alone and half of these accidents are often the result of unclean or unsafe floors.
One of the important steps that you can take for monitoring slip resistance is to measure the coefficient of friction on hard surface floors. With the use of this information, it will be easier for you to work with your commercial cleaners to guarantee a safe flooring surface for both employees and customers.
What is the Coefficient of Friction?
Measurement of COF or coefficient of friction is the most common method that regulatory agencies use to when checking slip resistance. It is a ratio of a force that causes things to slide on the surface in relation to the load that pushes together the two surfaces. As far as flooring is concerned, coefficient of friction measurement helps establish the safety of a surface.
How to Measure Coefficient of Friction
One traditional method for measuring a floor’s coefficient of friction involves the use of a leather shoe heel with a weight of 50lb placed on it before it is placed flat on the floor that it is tested on. The leather shoe heel is pulled across the surface using an electronic spring or scale and the required amount of force will be noted in terms of pounds.
The total is divided by the weight of the leather shoe heel get the value of coefficient of friction. The recommended COF is 0.5 as per OSHA and the NFSI and ANSI both indicate that high traction surfaces are those classed at wet 0.6 COF or higher.
Portable test meters and pull meters are available for testing the measurements and most cleaning services can conduct these tests on the floors of your premises.
Prevention of Slip and Fall Accidents
Both building managers and owners know how important it is for their buildings to be safe. They are also aware of the consequences of getting this wrong. Many of them implement programs that solve the safety concerns right away such as removal of potential hazards and clearing up of spills.
But while these measures are necessary, these are not enough to ensure that no incidents will happen nor are these adequate to keep up with the regulations of the National Floor Safety Institute and the American National Standards Institute. The two institutes have come with a standard measurement for risks of slips and falls. OSHA has also initiated rigorous standards where businesses are required to maintain and monitor their buildings’ floors through making sure that they are dry, free from obstructions and clean at all times.
Falls and slips can happen anywhere in your building, from areas open to the public to those areas exclusively accessible to employees. These incidents can also involve everyone who uses the building including the employees of your janitorial services. This is why it is important to implement a safe floor program that involves both your staff and your commercial cleaners.
The team at Courtesy Building Services, Inc. will be more than happy to work with you to ensure the safety of your floors each and every time.