Standardization News

Slip Resistance of Footwear

A new ASTM International standard will provide safety and risk management professionals with an aid in measuring the slip resistance of footwear in a wide variety of flooring situations.

F2913, Test Method for Measuring the Coefficient of Friction for Evaluation of Slip Performance of Footwear and Test Surfaces/Flooring Using a Whole Shoe Tester, is under the jurisdiction of Subcommittee F13.30 on Footwear, part of ASTM International Committee F13 on Pedestrian/Walkway Safety and Footwear

"F2913 quite simply allows for testing of the whole shoe against a myriad of flooring surface under both dry and contaminated conditions," says Bill Ells, vice president, component sales, Vibram USA, and vice chairman of F13. "This test method provides the user with a practical comparative set of footwear, flooring and contaminant combinations, allowing for prescreening of product prior to recommended human subject wear trails."

As an example, Ells cites the conditions that might exist in a meat packing plant.

"In such environments, one could envision stainless steel flooring, wet or oily contaminants and perhaps a cold climate. Using this method, a safety professional could propose testing footwear that has been preconditioned at a given temperature against stainless steel flooring with an oily contaminant to be applied," says Ells.

F2913 is derived from TM144, Friction (Slip Resistance) of Footwear and Floorings, a well-established and widely used standard developed by SATRA Technology Center in Kettering, England.

"With a written agreement between ASTM and SATRA, we're now able to develop and provide this method as an ASTM standard," says Ells. "As many regions of the world have a need to adapt test methods and performance requirements to their particular industry and government regulations, our plan was to adopt a test method rooted in science and physics that also allows for adaptation of particulars that can better suit the end user's needs."

All interested parties, particularly those with knowledge in the science of slip and those with expertise in floorings, coatings and other related materials, are welcome to join in the standards developing activities of F13.30.

To purchase ASTM standards, visit and search by the standard designation number, or contact ASTM Customer Relations (phone: 610-832-9585;

CONTACT Technical Information: Bill Ells, Vibram USA • Concord, Mass. • Phone: 978-318-0000, ext. 123 O ASTM Staff: Leonard Morrissey • Phone: 610-832-9719 O Upcoming Meeting: Jan. 28-29, 2013 • January Committee Week • Jacksonville, Fla.

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