A wide demographic of people enter a business on any given day, either as an employee or customer. These people may be young, old, stable, unstable, wearing safe or unsafe footwear. Business owners, facility managers and cleaning professionals can only control one aspect of these variables: the COF of the floor surface they are walking on.

Even if building occupants touch nothing else in the facility, they will touch the floor. By utilizing proper cleaning chemicals and cleaning methodologies, the SCOF and DCOF of a flooring surface can be increased and maintained in a “High or Moderate Traction” range of the NFSI B101 testing standards. By keeping floor surfaces in these ranges, the risks of slip-and-fall events can be drastically reduced, thereby reducing the exposure to litigation.

As a conscientious facility manager making the decision to test the COF of walkways, start by using a trained walkway auditor to ensure the accuracy of the measurements and proper use of the standards. Walkway Auditor Certificate Holders (WACH) are specifically trained in the proper use of test instruments, cleaning chemicals, methodologies and national standards to ensure walkways are properly tested and the results are properly interpreted.

The National Floor Safety Institute maintains a current list of all walkway auditors who have successfully completed the WACH course, as well as a list of all cleaning chemicals, tools and walk-off mats that have passed the NFSI “High Traction” testing protocols. By utilizing a WACH expert for audits and high traction materials for maintenance, facility managers can minimize the occurrence of slip-and-fall accidents in their facilities.

Brent Johnson is the chief auditor at Traction Auditing, LLC in Southlake, Texas.

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Understanding Floor Testing Standards, Safety Requirements