CPSC Seeking Slip Resistant Standard Comments


The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission recently published a petition requesting a new rulemaking to mandate testing and labeling regarding slip resistance of flooring, floor coatings and treatments, and more.

According to the American Coatings Association, if adopted, manufacturers of these products would be required to measure slip resistance using the most current version of NFSI’s standard B101.3, Test Method for Measuring the Wet Dynamic Coefficient of Friction (DCOF) of Hard Surface Walkways.

Labels for products would also need to be in accordance with the most current version of NFSI standard B101.5, Standard Guide for Uniform Labeling Method for Identifying the Wet Dynamic Coefficient of Friction (Traction) of Floor Coverings, Floor Coatings, Treatments, Commercial and Residential Floor Chemical Agents, and Consumer Footwear (B101.5).

The major factors CPSC reportedly considers in deciding whether to grant or deny a petition include:

  • Whether the product presents an unreasonable risk of injury;
  • Whether a rule is reasonably necessary to eliminate or reduce the risk of injury; and
  • Whether failure of the commission to initiate the rulemaking proceeding requested would unreasonably expose the petitioner or other consumers to the risk of injury which the petitioner alleges is presented by the product.

ACA says that the current petition is based on prior filing that CPSC previously because there was insufficient information to demonstrate that the requested rule would assist consumers in assessing the comparative safety of floor coverings or reduce slip and fall incidents.

According to the safety commission, the voluntary standard’s goal was to work with ASTM and NFSI on developing a new voluntary standard or revising the existing voluntary standard to reduce or prevent consumer slips, trips and falls.

However, the commission reportedly concluded that the 2015 and 2018 petitions:

  • Did not establish an association between slip and fall incidents and particular types of flooring;
  • Lacked of consistency and accuracy in test methods used;
  • Had insufficient information in the petition to indicate that a high COF decreased the risk of slips and falls; and
  • A labeling requirement would be insufficient to address the hazard because a COF is likely only one of several factors involved in slips and falls.

All products covered by the petition include commercial and residential grade floor coverings, floor coatings and treatments, residential and commercial floor cleaning agents, and consumer footwear.

“In considering these factors, the Commission will treat as an important component of each one the relative priority of the risk of injury associated with the product about which the petition has been filed and the Commission's resources available for rulemaking activities with respect to that risk of injury,” writes Alberta E. Mills, CPSC Secretary.

Comments on the latest proposal are being accepted through April 22. The full petition has been published in The Federal Register.


Tagged categories: American Coatings Association; American Coatings Association (ACA); Certifications and standards; Coating Materials - Commercial; Concrete floor coatings; Decorative Floor Coatings; Floor coatings; Floor overlays; Flooring system; Floors; Floors; Good Technical Practice; Health & Safety; Health and safety; NA; North America; Regulations; Safety; Slip-Resistance

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