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ANSI A326.3 vs National Floor Safety Institute (NFSI) B101.3

Over the years there have been many safety "standards" developed by third parties trying to define an effective way to measure slip resistance.  Many of these "standards" have been withdrawn or have been generated by uninformed entities who gain revenue by placing these "standards" behind a paywall. Many of these "paywall standards" have very little scientific research, and have no associations or standards committees verifying the grounds at which these "standards" apply.

To clarify, there is currently only one American National Standard for slip resistance testing It is ANSI A 326.3 Test Method for Measuring the Dynamic Coefficient of Friction of Hard Surface Materials -2021. This ANSI standard is under the jurisdiction of the ANSI A 108 Standards Development Committee, Secretariat: Tile Council of North America.

Companies like National Floor Safety Institute (NFSI) have a variety of "paywall standards" requiring payment for manufacturer inclusion in this standard, as well as payment to even read this standard. With former ties to standards associations that have been dissolved, NFSI currently has no affiliations with standards development committees.  This means the NFSI B101.3 2020 standard is not a recognized national standard.

National Floor Safety Institute (NFSI) standards are not ANSI Standards and in turn NOT National Standards.

As described in this article, published by Facility Safety Management, in January 2020, the NFSI announced that their ANSI accreditation to develop floor safety standards has been terminated. The two NFSI/ANSI standards for measuring floor slip resistance, B101.1 and B101.3 had both missed their respective deadlines (2009 and 2012) to be revised/renewed by the NFSI and have been, until January 2020, in an uncertain status. With the termination of the NFSI/ANSI accreditation, there can no longer be a renewal and those two standards effectively lapse.

The standards development committee that created the A137.1 and A326.3 standards is ANSI A108. In 2017, ANSI A108 incorporated the ANSI A326.3 measurement method standard into the A137.1 Standard which covers the full specification for manufacturing ceramic tile. Although the internet has many references to measuring slip resistance per ANSI A137.1, that standard itself calls for using ANSI A326.3 which is a method valid for all hard surface floors and not just ceramic [tile]. Effectively, ANSI A326.3 is the one standard needed for both laboratory and field testing of all hard surface flooring.

With these developments, the ANSI A326.3 standard for measuring the Dynamic Coefficient of Friction (DCOF) emerges as the only ANSI standard for measuring floor traction. There is no longer any ANSI standard for measuring the Static Coefficient of Friction (SCOF), thus completing the transition in the United States away from the SCOF method to the globally recognized DCOF method.

In 2021, American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and The Tile Council of North America (TCNA) have released national consensus standard ANSI A326.3 -2021, an updated version of their 2017 ANSI A326.3 -2017, American National Standard Test Method For Measuring Dynamic Coefficient Of Friction Of Hard Surface Flooring Materials.

ANSI A326.3 -2021 now includes important updates to help further define and specify processes and product use categories that will provide U.S. facilities with the protocol for maintaining slip-resistant environments for patrons and employees including interior, exterior, and other specified areas.

You can view the only current national consensus floor safety standard here.

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