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New standard aims to reduce slips and falls

February 1, 2002
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A new American National Standard from the American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE) focuses on reducing slips and falls in the workplace, the second leading cause of incidental workplace deaths.

A1264.2 Standard for the Provision of Slip Resistance on Walking/Working Surfaces explores surface characteristics, footwear traction properties and environmental factors of slip resistance to ensure a safer walking and working environment. The standard provides basic guidelines for professionals to apply to their own workplace.

"The A1264.2 standard is a useful tool in developing a slip/trip/fall prevention program or updating an existing one," said ASSE member Keith Vidal, A1264.2 subcommittee Chair. "This standard defines 'slip resistance' in terms and aspects that were not covered in previous standards."

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, 15 percent of incidental workplace deaths are caused by slips, trips and falls, second only to traffic crash fatalities.

The standard explains:

  • floor characteristics, including the installation of mats and runners;
  • controlling access to areas with a slippery environment and providing 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 by calling ASSE customer service at (847) 699-2929.

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