The following is a compilation
of facts regarding slip-resistance of floor
The slip resistance of floor finishes (coefficient
of friction) is measured on an apparatus known
as a James Machine. The results of the James
Machine, when compared to actual floor condition,
becomes somewhat nebulous, but it still remains
the best test available. The readings measure
the static coefficient of friction (slip resistance)
and give a numerical rating of 0.1 to 1.0 with
0.5 being the figure set as the limit of safety.
Readings higher than .5 are progressively less
slippery and hence safer. Numbers progressively
lower than 0.5 are more slippery and considered
A newer generation slip resistance apparatus
is the Topaka unit which measures dynamic coefficient
of friction (slip resistance).
An unfinished or unwaxed floor is very often
faster (more slippery) than a finished or waxed
floor. In most cases the application of finish
or wax actually controls slip.
Conventional spray buffing is a major factor
affecting slip-resistance. Spray buffing hardens
the finish and thus speeds up the floor. There
is a definite correlation between hardness and
slip. Conventional spray buff (a mix of finish,
water and cleaner) lowers the coefficient of
slip by about 0.025 points thus speeding up
the slip on the floor. Today’s modern spray
buff and mop on dressing compounds such as Flashback
will control the slip on a floor. After using
Flashback Spray Buff or Mop on Restorer on a
finished floor, the slip index will usually
read 0.05 – 0.075 higher on the James scale;
slowing down the floor (making less slippery).
Spray buffing is a valid and economical method
of floor maintenance and is here to stay, but
the proper choice of chemical compounds is important
in relation to safety.
Water spillage on floors creates an extremely
hazardous condition. Water acts as a lubricant
between the floor substrate and the bottom of
the shoe. Spilled water, condensation, food
and drink should be cleaned up immediately.
Good quality walk off mats should be placed
at entranceways to prevent rain and snow from
being brought in by foot traffic.
Residual mop treatment film or residue from
furniture polish, metal cleaner and lubricating
sprays will greatly increase the slip on the
floor surface. Avoid oversprays onto floor.
Clean up residues promptly using a good heavy
Dust created by burnishing or dirty floors will
cause a floor to become more slippery. Sweep
or damp mop floors on a regular basis.