New Standard Slides up to Stop Slips and Falls

A new ANSI standard that addresses slip resistance on walking and working surfaces could help reduce slip and fall incidents, a major cause of workplace fatalities.

Some 15 percent of accidental workplace deaths are caused by slips, trips and falls, which are second only to traffic crash fatalities as a leading cause of fatal workplace injuries.

Focusing on reducing slips and falls in the workplace, the American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE) recently published a new American National Standard: "Standard for the Provision of Slip Resistance on Walking/Working Surfaces (A1264.2)".

"This standard can help safety professionals reduce workplace slips and falls, providing basic guidelines for professionals to apply to their own workplace," said Keith Vidal, of St. Louis, Mo., chair of the A1264.2 subcommittee and an ASSE member. "The A1264.2 standard is a useful tool in developing a slip/trip/fall prevention program or updating an existing one. This standard defines slip resistance in terms and aspects that were not covered in previous standards and that can be used by safety professionals in the work environment today."

The American National Standard A1264.1-1995 "Safety Requirements for Workplace Floor and Wall Openings, Stairs and Railing Systems," as well as many regional model building codes, Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulations, and other American National Standards Institute (ANSI) standards use the term "slip resistance". The A1264.2 standard was necessary to further define the term slip resistance and to establish common and accepted practices for providing reasonably safe walking and working surfaces. The standard was approved by ANSI July 2, 2001, with ASSE serving as secretariat for the A1264 Standards Committee.

The A1264.2 explores surface characteristics, footwear traction properties and environmental factors of slip resistance to ensure a safer walking and working environment. It explains floor characteristics, including the installation of mats and runners, controlling access to areas with a slippery environment and provided appropriate signage, footwear traction properties, such as a shoe's sole design to ensure slip resistance, housekeeping training and maintenance, surface testing equipment and floor selection.

A copy of the A1264.2 standard is available for $32 for ASSE members and $48 for non-members and can be ordered online at www.asse.org or by calling ASSE customer service at 847-699-2929.

edited by Sandy Smith (ssmith@penton.com)

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