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Home > Forensics > Falls > Slip Resistance

Falls: Slip Resistance

Slip resistance is related to a combination of factors including the walkway surface, the footwear bottom, and the presence of foreign materials between them.

• Walkway surface. A slip occurs when there is insufficient friction between a pedestrian's footwear and the walkway surface. Different materials have different slip resistance. A walkway surface with significantly different slip-resistance under dry and wet conditions is hazardous, as is using flooring materials with different levels of slip-resistance in adjacent areas.

• Footwear. Heels with minimal heel-to-surface contact (such as high heels), or shoes with leather or other hard, smooth-surfaced soles can lead to slips. Shoes with cleated soft rubber soles and heels provide greatest slip resistance.

• Contamination. Water and other liquid contaminants are the most typical slipping hazards. Adequate entrance flooring systems, such as matting, can reduce the extent of contamination. Canopies and gutters also can redirect rainwater from entranceways to reduce the extent of contamination.

• Maintenance. The slip resistance of walkway surfaces is affected by the type of detergent and cleaning tools, as well as by the frequency of cleaning. Maintenance should be appropriate for the type of pedestrian at the facility as well as the amount of traffic.

• Measurement. We use the English XL Variable Incidence Tribometer for measuring slip resistance. Dr. Nemire is a Certified XL Tribometrist (CXLT), and operates the slipmeter in compliance with established guidelines. The XL slipmeter is the only portable slipmeter that provides reliable measurements of slip resistance on wet or contaminated surfaces.

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