Flooring Slip Resistance Rating: ASTM, OSHA, DIN 51097, EN13893, BS 7976, AS/NZS 4586 Anti-Slip Standards

Slip-resistant flooring is a critical safety feature in various settings, from residential bathrooms and kitchens to commercial sports areas and pool decks. Understanding anti-slip ratings and the different standards (requirements) applied globally can help in making informed decisions about flooring materials.

What is the Slip Resistance Rating for Flooring?

The Flooring Slip Resistance Rating refers to a numerical value or classification assigned to floor materials based on their level of slip resistance. This rating is determined by various standardized tests that measure the frictional properties of the floor surface, giving an indication of how likely it is to prevent slips and falls. The purpose of these ratings is to guide consumers, builders, architects, and safety professionals in selecting appropriate flooring materials that provide adequate traction, especially in environments where there is a higher risk of slipping, such as kitchens, bathrooms, and public walkways. This property is quantified using different ratings, such as the German R9-R13 and classes A-C, or the Spanish Class 1-3. Good slip resistance is particularly important for vulnerable populations, such as seniors, to maintain their mobility and safety. Different countries and organizations have established their own testing methods and rating systems to evaluate slip resistance.

Global Anti-Slip Floor Testing Standards – Flooring Slip Resistant Rating By Country

Anti-slip ratings vary by country, and they include different classification systems to indicate the level of slip resistance:

USA Flooring Slip Resistant: ANSI A137.1, ASTM, OSHA Anti-Slip Standards

In the United States, standards for assessing the slip resistance of flooring materials include those developed by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM). These standards are widely recognized and provide methods for evaluating the safety of walking surfaces to minimize the potential for slips and falls.

  • 1. ANSI A137.1: Specifications for Ceramic Tile

ANSI A137.1 is a standard specific to ceramic tiles. It outlines the method for determining the Dynamic Coefficient of Friction (DCOF) of ceramic tiles to gauge their slip resistance. The DCOF measures the force of friction as a function of the force pushing the tile and the object in contact with it, which, in practical terms, relates to how likely a person is to slip when walking on a tile surface.

Key aspects of ANSI A137.1:

Minimum DCOF: The standard recommends a minimum DCOF of 0.42 for level interior tiles expected to be walked upon when wet. Tiles meeting or exceeding this threshold are considered to have acceptable slip resistance for general use in specified areas.

  • 2. ASTM Standards for Slip Resistance

ASTM International has developed various test methods and guidelines for measuring the slip resistance of floors:

  • ASTM D2047: This test method is used to measure the Static Coefficient of Friction (SCOF) of polish-coated flooring surfaces, such as those treated with floor waxes and finishes. It specifies a minimum SCOF of 0.5 for a surface to be considered slip-resistant.
  • ASTM F1637: This standard provides practices for the design, construction, and maintenance of walking surfaces to minimize hazards and falls related to slips and trips.
  • ASTM F1679 and ASTM F1677: Previously used to measure the coefficient of friction with the Variable Incidence Tribometer (VIT) and the Brungraber Mark II devices, these standards have been withdrawn and are no longer current ASTM standards.
  • ASTM F3261: This is a newer standard that outlines a test method for measuring the Coefficient of Friction (COF) using a whole shoe tester. It evaluates the slip performance of footwear and test surfaces/flooring under specific conditions.
  • 3. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Guidelines

While OSHA does not set specific standards for slip resistance of floor surfaces, it does reference ASTM and ANSI standards for guidance on maintaining safe walking and working conditions under the general duty clause, which requires employers to provide a workplace free from recognized hazards.

The National Floor Safety Institute (NFSI) provides certification for floor materials, coatings, and cleaners that meet specific criteria for reducing slip and fall incidents. They often reference ANSI B101.3 or ANSI/NFSI B101.1 standards, which involve the use of tribometers such as the BOT-3000E for assessing DCOF.

European Flooring Slip Resistant: EN 13893 Anti-Slip Standards

EN 13893 specifies how to determine the slip resistance of flooring materials, including those with a textile surface. The standard uses the dynamic coefficient of friction (DCOF) to classify materials as DS (satisfying slip resistance requirements) or DM (not satisfying requirements).

  • 1. EN 13893

The EN 13893 standard specifies a method for measuring the dynamic coefficient of friction (DCOF) of floor coverings to determine their slip resistance. This test assesses the potential for slip by a standard mechanical slider moving across the floor surface under controlled conditions.

  • 2. Classification According to EN 13893

The results of the DCOF test conducted under EN 13893 are categorized into two classifications:

  • DS (Dynamic Slip Resistance): Indicates that the flooring material has undergone testing and satisfies the requirements for slip resistance under this standard. Flooring materials within this classification are considered suitable for use in environments where slip resistance is crucial.
  • DM (Dynamic Minimum): Suggests that the flooring material does not meet the requirements of EN 13893 for slip resistance. Such materials may not be suitable for areas where a higher risk of slipping exists.

Flooring materials that pass the EN 13893 standard with a DS classification are tagged with a DS marking, providing assurance to consumers and professionals that these materials offer a reliable level of slip resistance. The EN 13893 standard is essential for manufacturers, architects, and health and safety professionals who need to ensure that flooring materials meet the necessary safety standards for slip resistance. It allows for a standardized approach across Europe, facilitating the comparison and selection of flooring materials based on their performance.

UK Flooring Slip Resistant: BS 7976, DIN 51130, CTIR Anti-Slip Standards

In the United Kingdom, slip resistance for flooring is commonly assessed using the Pendulum Test, as detailed in the British Standards Institution (BSI) guidelines outlined in BS 7976. The test is designed to replicate the dynamic action of a foot slipping on a floor surface in both dry and contaminated conditions. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE), the UK body responsible for the encouragement, regulation, and enforcement of workplace health, safety, and welfare, endorses the Pendulum Test as a reliable method for assessing floor slipperiness.

  • 1. Pendulum Test (BS 7976)

The Pendulum Test measures the frictional resistance between a test slider and the floor surface to provide a Pendulum Test Value (PTV). The higher the PTV, the lower the slip potential.

Classification by PTVs:

  • High Slip Potential: PTVs of 24 or below
  • Moderate Slip Potential: PTVs between 25 and 35
  • Low Slip Potential: PTVs of 36 or above

A floor that achieves a PTV of 36 or more is generally considered to have a low slip potential, making it safer for use in a variety of settings.

  • 2. Ramp Test (DIN 51130)

Another method used in the UK, particularly for industrial applications, is the Ramp Test described in the German DIN 51130 standard. This test categorizes slip resistance with an R rating, following a similar procedure as the German standards where a subject walks on an increasingly inclined plane until they slip.

Classification by R Ratings:

  • R9: Limited slip resistance
  • R10: Adequate slip resistance for some areas
  • R11: Good slip resistance, suitable for areas with higher slip risk
  • R12: Higher slip resistance, for areas with significant slip risk
  • R13: Very high slip resistance, for the most challenging environments
  • 3. Ceramic Tile Institute Rating

The Ceramic Tile Institute also provides a classification that is sometimes referenced in the UK:

  • Class A: Tiles with the highest level of friction, suitable for inclines and ramps
  • Class B: Tiles with medium friction, suitable for most public areas and walkways
  • Class C: Tiles with lower friction, not recommended for areas where slips are a concern

In commercial and industrial environments, it is crucial to maintain appropriate levels of slip resistance to ensure safety and compliance with health and safety regulations. Specifying a product with the correct slip resistance for its intended use is of utmost importance.

German Flooring Slip Resistant: DIN 51130, DIN 51097 Anti-Slip Standards

The German standard DIN 51130 uses an oil-lubricated inclined plane test to determine the slip resistance rating (R9-R13) for various applications, from residential to industrial settings. The DIN 51097 standard assesses the slip resistance for wet areas with barefoot traffic, assigning classes A-C based on the incline a person can navigate safely.

1. DIN 51130: Testing with Shoes

The DIN 51130 standard is focused on testing the slip resistance of flooring where people are likely to be wearing shoes. It’s particularly relevant for workplaces, commercial environments, and public spaces. The test involves an inclined plane coated with oil to simulate slippery conditions. A person wearing standardized footwear then walks on the surface at increasing angles until they slip. The angle at which slipping occurs determines the R (Rutschhemmung, meaning slip resistance) classification as follows:

  • R9: Very limited slip resistance. Suitable for areas where there is less chance of wetness.
  • R10: Moderate slip resistance. Appropriate for areas that may have some exposure to moisture or oil.
  • R11: Considerable slip resistance. Used in areas where higher levels of moisture or oil are expected.
  • R12: High slip resistance. Suitable for environments with consistent exposure to significant levels of moisture or oil.
  • R13: Very high slip resistance. Necessary for areas where very slippery conditions are regularly present, such as industrial kitchens.

The R rating is often used by architects and facility managers to specify the appropriate level of slip resistance required for different areas within a building.

  • 2. DIN 51097: Testing for Barefoot Areas

The DIN 51097 standard addresses slip resistance in areas where people are likely to be walking barefoot and where floors may be wet, such as swimming pools, showers, and changing rooms. The test involves a barefoot tester walking on a sloped surface that becomes increasingly inclined until a slip occurs. The classifications are given as:

  • Class A: Suitable for areas where individuals walk while barefoot without significant exposure to water, like changing rooms.
  • Class B: Designed for areas with more water exposure, such as showers and bathroom areas.
  • Class C: For areas with high levels of water exposure and where higher levels of safety are needed, like pool surrounds and walk-in showers.

These classifications help in designing safer environments in leisure facilities, spas, and similar settings where people are often barefoot.

Spanish Flooring Slip Resistant: UNE-ENU 12600:2003 Anti-Slip Standards

In Spain, the standard that addresses the anti-slip properties of flooring materials is the UNE-ENU 12600:2003. This standard is integrated into the Spanish Technical Building Code (Código Técnico de la Edificación, CTE), which defines the requirements for the safety of use and accessibility in buildings. The UNE-ENU 12600:2003 standard aims to prevent accidents by ensuring that flooring materials offer an adequate level of slip resistance.

1. UNE-ENU 12600:2003

The UNE-ENU 12600:2003 standard provides a classification system based on the slip resistance of the flooring material. This classification is particularly vital for areas where the floor is likely to get wet and potentially cause slip hazards, such as in bathrooms, kitchens, and around swimming pools. The classification system outlined in the UNE-ENU 12600:2003 is based on the Slip Resistance (Resistencia al Deslizamiento, Rd) value which is obtained through specific testing methods. The classes are divided as follows:

  • Class 0: Rd less than 15. Floors with this classification have the lowest level of slip resistance and are typically not recommended for areas where there is any risk of slipping.
  • Class 1: Rd between 15 and 35. This class indicates a moderate level of slip resistance, suitable for areas with low pedestrian traffic and minimal risk of water exposure.
  • Class 2: Rd between 35 and 45. These floors have a higher slip resistance and are better suited for areas with more frequent water exposure or pedestrian traffic.
  • Class 3: Rd greater than 45. This is the highest level of slip resistance provided by the standard, recommended for areas with high pedestrian traffic and significant risk of water exposure, such as public showers and pool decks.
  • The UNE-ENU 12600:2003 classification system plays a crucial role in guiding architects, builders, and consumers in selecting the appropriate flooring materials for different environments. It ensures that the materials chosen will not only meet aesthetic preferences but will also provide the necessary safety features to prevent slips and falls.

Australian Flooring Slip Resistant: AS 4586-2013, AS 4663-2013, and AS/NZS 4586 Anti-Slip Standards

In Australia, the standards AS 4586-2013 and AS 4663-2013 are key references for assessing the slip resistance of flooring materials. These standards provide guidelines and recommendations for selecting and evaluating flooring based on their anti-slip performance, which is particularly important for ensuring safety in public spaces and workplaces.

1. AS 4586-2013: Slip Resistance Classification of New Pedestrian Surface Materials

AS 4586-2013 specifies the methods for testing new pedestrian surface materials to determine their slip resistance. It includes several test methods to cover different conditions and scenarios:

Test Methods in AS 4586-2013:

  • Wet Pendulum Test: This test simulates a heel strike of a shoe on a wet surface to measure the dynamic friction between the shoe and the surface.
  • Dry Floor Friction Test: It measures the slip resistance of a surface under dry conditions.
  • Wet-Barefoot Inclining Platform Test: This test assesses the slip resistance of surfaces that are likely to be walked on by people with bare feet in wet conditions, such as around swimming pools.
  • Oil-Wet Inclining Platform Test: It determines the slip resistance of surfaces that may become contaminated with oily substances.

Slip Resistance Classifications from AS 4586-2013:

  • P0 to P5: These classifications come from the Wet Pendulum Test, where ‘P5’ indicates the highest slip resistance and ‘P0’ the least.
  • R9 to R13: These classifications are derived from the Oil-Wet Inclining Platform Test, similar to the European R ratings, where ‘R13’ indicates the highest slip resistance and ‘R9’ the least.
  • A, B, C: From the Wet-Barefoot Inclining Platform Test, these classifications are for areas used by people with bare feet. ‘A’ indicates the least slip resistance, and ‘C’ indicates the highest.

2. AS 4663-2013: Slip Resistance Measurement of Existing Pedestrian Surfaces

AS 4663-2013 describes the methods for measuring the slip resistance of existing pedestrian surfaces, applicable to in-situ flooring. This standard is used to evaluate the slip resistance of floors that are already installed and in use.

Test Methods in AS 4663-2013:

  • Wet Pendulum Test: The same as in AS 4586-2013, but applied to existing floor surfaces.
  • Dry Floor Friction Test: Also the same as in AS 4586-2013, applied to assess the condition of existing floors under dry circumstances.
  • Compliance with these standards is essential for ensuring the safety of pedestrian surfaces in various environments. They are often cited in building codes and regulations and are used by safety inspectors and flooring consultants to assess and manage slip hazards.

3. AS/NZS 4586

The AS/NZS 4586 is an Australian/New Zealand Standard that specifies the methods for testing and classifying the slip resistance of pedestrian surface materials. It provides a framework for assessing the safety of flooring materials and ensures that they meet certain criteria to minimize the risk of slips and falls. Here are the main classifications and test methods included in the AS/NZS 4586 standard:

Slip Resistance Classification:

  • Wet Pendulum Test: This test uses a swinging, rubber-faced pendulum to simulate a heel strike on a wet surface. The pendulum swings across the flooring material, and the resistance to the pendulum’s rubber slider is measured. The result is given as a Pendulum Test Value (PTV), with higher values indicating better slip resistance.
  • Classifications range from P0 (very low slip resistance) to P5 (very high slip resistance).
  • Dry Floor Friction Test (also known as the Dry Tortus Test): It measures the friction level of a surface when dry, using a small, motorized device with a rubber slider that travels across the floor.
  • The classification is expressed in terms of the Coefficient of Friction (CoF), with higher values indicating better slip resistance.
  • Wet-Barefoot Inclining Platform Test: This is specifically designed for areas that will be used by people with bare feet in wet conditions, such as around swimming pools and communal showers. A person walks back and forth on a sample of the flooring material that is slowly inclined until they slip.
  • The classifications are A (low slip resistance), B (moderate slip resistance), and C (high slip resistance).
  • Oil-Wet Ramp Test: This test is similar to the inclining platform test but is used for industrial applications where oil might be present. A test subject wears safety boots and walks on a ramp that is gradually inclined until they slip.
  • The classifications range from R9 (lowest slip resistance) to R13 (highest slip resistance).

Across all standards, the consensus is clear: flooring materials should be chosen with safety in mind, and any product with an anti-slip classification is better than one without. For environments with specific safety needs, such as healthcare facilities or public pools, adherence to these standards is non-negotiable.

Floor slipperiness is a significant factor contributing to over one million hospital admissions annually due to slips. By informing oneself of the relevant anti-slip flooring regulations and classifications, one can take proactive steps to mitigate risks and ensure a safer environment for all users.

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