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VOSI Chairman (ASTM Member) Donald Meserlian's
Standard Negative Vote on
All ASTM Flooring & Footwear Slip Resistance Ballots

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 Attention ASTM: 

I am voting negative on all ASTM Flooring & Footwear Slip Resistance Ballots for the following reasons: 

Both the U.S. National Standards Strategy and the National Technology Transfer & Advancement Act of 1996 (NTTAA) recognize the need for both market and people based standards. The former are generally written by industry groups establishing uniform product quality control within a given industry. The people based standards require that the "Public Safety" and "Public Health" of people be improved and that the "Environment" be protected. Voices of Safety International (VOSI) only writes people based standards.

The National Institute of Standards & Technology (NIST), responsible for enforcing the NTTAA, has established a list of 210 private sector standards development organizations (SDO's) which NIST recognizes as organizations whose standards should be evaluated by all levels of government in accordance with the NTTAA. Since NIST recognizes these SDO''s, all NIST recognized organizations should in turn recognize each other and evaluate and/or reference each others standards when applicable. This is the basis for VOSI's request that ASTM both recognize VOSI and evaluate its standards for reference in ASTM standards.

Flooring and Footwear materials manufacturers should be allowed the choice of using the people based VOSI slip resistance standards which are independent of the conflicting slip resistance needs of material manufacturers.

See www.voicesofsafety.com, "Slip & Fall Standards"... click on VOSI V41.23X, "Standard for Slip Resistant Walkways, in the Field and Laboratory, as Measured by a Drag Type Friction Tester". Review this standard on line; note the conflicting ASTM slip resistance standards in refs. 2.3 and 2.4.

Any materials parameter that affects the public's safety and health, or the environment, must be scientifically based (VOSI standards must have Research Reports) and must be the best and only standard accepted for reference by any standards development or government organization.

The F 06 Resilient Flooring subcommittee's slip resistance ramp test, which cannot be used in the field, has the same problem as the James Machine in ASTM D2047. Any slip resistance test method must be able to be used both in the field and the laboratory.

F 13, the ASTM designated gurus for slip resistance standards, have never produced any performance based standards for either flooring or footwear, and have added two dynamic friction test protocols (only the SCOF is accepted in the U.S. judicial system), the Brungraber Mark II and the English XL, to its already conflicting list of slip resistance standards. Click on VOSI V41.23Y to verify my statement. Bob Brungraber, Bill English and I are all F13 members; they're on a pedestal, I'm usually knocked down with their "Non Persuasive" solutions to my many negative votes.

The ASTM Board of Directors formed a "Board of Director's Task Group on Slip Resistance" more than a year ago, under the chairmanship of ASTM Board Chairman Don Marlowe. This task group was formed in order to solve the problem of the many conflicting ASTM materials based slip resistance test methods. The F13 leadership is well represented on this task group, which has not produced any results that I know of. The materials based ASTM committees, that have existing slip resistance test methods, are not willing to change their industry based slip resistance testing requirements.

The VOSI Universal Specification/Test Methods for testing flooring materials are the only existing test methods that recognize the variability of the simulated footwear materials used when testing flooring.

Pedestrian slip resistance is influenced by both the footwear and the flooring, including any surface contaminates; this presents two variables when the SCOF is measured. Simulated footwear material (leather and Monarch EVA) must be "standardized" when measuring the SCOF of flooring in order to eliminate the sensor variability which occurs due to sanding the pads. In addition, standard test surfaces (polypropylene & ASTM C1028 "Florida" Ceramic Tile) must be used when testing the SCOF of footwear heels and soling. Leather or simulated leather is used on polypropylene (dry) and the "Florida" Ceramic Tile" when testing rubber footwear materials (dry and wet). The same standard test surfaces, which are used to standardize the simulated footwear sensors when testing flooring, are used for testing footwear. This test method which is specified in VOSI Universal Specification/Test Methods eliminates the major problem of all other test methods: failure to utilize standard test surfaces when measuring flooring and footwear.

VOSI Standard V41.23D "Standard for Exterior Slip Resistant Boardwalks and Decks" references VOSI Research Report RR1, which contains humidity correction factors from 20-95% relative humidity (RH), in order that the SCOF, measured at non-laboratory (field) conditions, may be compared to the 50% RH specified for lab testing. ASTM slip resistance test methods specify a 50% laboratory RH; therefore, these test methods are invalid at non-laboratory ambient conditions.

The objection to a manually operated drag type friction tester has been eliminated since all operators of the Technical Products Model 80 must be "Certified" before using this tester. The average SCOF of 8 readings , leather/polypropylene secondary standard test surface, must be within 0.02 of the value in my log; the range must be less than or equal to 0.05.

Voices of Safety International "certifies that testing labs use VOSV41.21 and/or V41.22 when testing whether flooring and footwear are "slip resistant"." Ref. NIST Special Publication 903, 2001 Edition "Directory of U.S. Private Sector Product Certification Programs".

In conclusion, VOSI standards provide Universal Specification/Test Methods that permit flooring & footwear material manufacturers, forensic engineers and others to test BOTH the flooring and the plaintiff's footwear. This is the first time that footwear material manufacturers are held responsible for the slip resistance of their shoe soling materials.

I will only approve an ASTM slip resistance test method if it references VOSI V41.23X, "Standard for Slip Resistant Walkways, in the Field & Laboratory, as Measured by a Drag Type Friction Tester" and/or VOSI V41.23Y, "Standard for Slip Resistant Footwear, in the Field & Laboratory as Measured by a Drag Type Friction Tester".

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Last Updated: 2002-04-16