CoatingsPro Magazine

JUL 2018

CoatingsPro offers an in-depth look at coatings based on case studies, successful business operation, new products, industry news, and the safe and profitable use of coatings and equipment.

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Page 20 of 68

20 JULY 2018 COATINGSPROMAG.COM T oo often, I've come across a beautifully finished floor that appears to meet the customer's needs with regard to aesthetics and function, but it has one fatal flaw: It's slippery. Many resinous f looring installers simply don't grasp the importance of producing a finished product with adequate slip resistance, nor do they understand the liability they're poten- tially exposing themselves to. From my experience, it's fairly common for both the facility owner and the instal- lation contractor to be named in slip and fall lawsuits. So, what can you do to protect your application company from this poten- tial liability and ensure the safety of end users? You need to have a thorough understanding of the environment where you'll be installing the system as well as a general understanding of the standards that dictate how slip resistance is measured and what is considered safe. Learning the Lingo To start, you should learn the basic background, including the vocabulary, test methods, and equipment used to measure slip resistance. is knowledge will help you better communicate with your customer about slip resistance and relay critical information impacting the safety of those who will use the floor. Familiarize yourself with the following: • Static Coefficient of Friction (SCOF): Until recently, this had been the most common coefficient of friction measured on a finished flooring system. It's a measurement of the slip of a non-moving pedestrian on a wet or dry floor. However, this has proven to be an unreliable measure- ment for safety. Think about it… how often does someone who is not moving slip and fall on a floor? • Dynamic Coefficient of Friction (DCOF): DCOF is quickly becom- ing the new go-to standard for the measurement of slip resistance in the flooring industry. This is a measurement of the slip of a moving pedestrian on a dry or wet, soapy floor. The liquid solution used in the wet test is a mix of water and a surfactant (soap-like residue). • Tribometer: This refers to any instrument that measures friction in sliding. All of the pieces of equip- ment used to test the coefficients of friction, including SCOF and DCOF, are tribometers. Before Selling a Project Once you understand the basic infor- mation about slip resistance, you'll need to consider several details regard- ing each specific project. W hen selling a project, ask these questions prior to recommending a flooring system: • Is the project interior or exterior? • Will it be exposed to things that could potentially make it slippery, such as water, animal fats, grease, or oil? • Is the floor flat or sloped? • What type of traffic will the floor be exposed to (e.g., fork lifts and workers pushing carts, or pedestri- ans in leather-soled shoes and high heels)? • What is the cleaning procedure the end user will follow, including the method and frequency? Once you understand these variables, you can adequately assess the floor and determine the necessary slip resistance for your recommendation. Understanding Government Regulations ere are many questions and misper- ceptions regarding which standards flooring contractors should follow when it comes to slip resistance. To start, which government agencies set the standards? Is it the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the Department of Justice (DOJ) Civil Rights Division via the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the International Building Council (IBC), or the American National Standards Institute (ANSI)? Most of us have been under the impression that OSHA and/ or the DOJ set the standards. But that's actually not the case. Both OSH A and the DOJ have made SCOF recommendations in the past for level f loors and ramps. With OSH A , the recommendation was a SCOF of 0.5, but there is no specific recommendation for ramps other than the following statement: "A higher COF may be necessar y for certain work tasks, such as carr y ing objects, pushing or pulling objects, or walking up or down ramps." The DOJ used to recommend a SCOF of 0.6 for level f loors and 0.8 for ramps, yet the organization has since withdrawn these recommendations. Moreover, the ASTM International standards for in situ testing that both agencies once referenced have since been withdrawn. Currently, A NSI is the only agency with standards that are widely used and accepted by United States construction and regulator y agencies. T he two A NSI tests that are relevant Notes From the Field Notes From the Field By Daniel Owen, Vice President, Flooring Systems, ICP Construction What You Need to Know About Slip Resistance for Floors

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