Development of a slip resistance matrix for the selection of flooring and footwear to reduce slip-accidents

Project No. FF-FP 0288


completed 12/2012


The objectives are for the interaction between floors, footwear and lubricants to be considered integrally and for a slip-resistance matrix to be developed for the selection of floor and footwear products. The assessment by national and EU type examinations of the non-slip potential of floors and footwear is in some cases not appropriate for industrial practice. Proposals are made for valid type examinations involving alternative reference materials and test methods.


An empirical study is performed in order to describe and evaluate practical situations in terms of the measured data. For this purpose, reference is made to the coefficients of friction of combinations of 85 different floors and 100 different safety and outdoor footwear products, with water and engine oil serving as the lubricants.


The statistical risk model that has been developed enables a mathematical prognosis to be formulated of the scale of the slipping while walking risk as a function of the non-slip properties of floors and footwear (the results of type examinations). The model is generalized to produce the slip-resistance matrix, a prevention instrument which substantially simplifies both risk assessment and the selection of safe floor/footwear combinations in order to create a sustainable, collective and automatic protective measure. Under real-case conditions, critical situations occur substantially more frequently with outdoor footwear than with safety footwear. Minimum requirements for the slip resistance of outdoor footwear that are comparable to those for safety footwear are therefore advisable.

The results support the evaluation and selection of floor and footwear products in a way that is suitable for industrial practice. If implemented in standards, in product development and in measures for the safety and health of workers at work, they have the potential to reduce sustainably the frequency of slipping accidents.

Last Update:

18 Nov 2013


Financed by:
  • Deutsche Gesetzliche Unfallversicherung e. V. (DGUV)
Research institution(s):
  • Bergische Universität Wuppertal

-cross sectoral-

Type of hazard:

mechanical hazards


prevention, industrial accident, personal protective equipment

Description, key words:

slip resistance, flooring, footwear, slipaccidents