Testing of temporary floor coverings

A dozen rolls of felt, plastic and other materials

Zoom Image

Examples of temporary floor coverings
Source: IFA

Temporary floor coverings (such as decorators' felt drop sheet, film, paper board, etc.) protect floors and steps against soiling and damage during interior work. At the same time, they must serve as a safe walking surface and assure safe workplaces

Felt sample on measuring table

Testing of the dynamic friction
Source: IFA

In order to ensure that work on temporary floor coverings can be carried out safely, the Building construction subcommittee within the Construction expert committee has developed DGUV test principles, "Principles for the testing and certification of temporary floor coverings" (GS-IFA-B02), in conjunction with the Institute for Occupational Safety and Health of the DGUV (IFA). The test principles highlight hazards, present test methods, and define minimum requirements. Since temporary floor coverings temporarily assume the function of the floor itself, the test principles are based upon the normal requirements to be met by floors: they must not slide away or present a tripping hazard, and must exhibit sufficient slip resistance.

A ladder is standing on an obviously slipping fleece

Ladder test
Source: IFA

Temporary floor coverings that satisfy the requirements of the test principles are included in a list of approved products. They currently attract a financial subsidy (OSH bonus) from the German Social Accident Insurance Institution for the building trade (BG BAU). The list of approved products enables trade and private users to select a safe product that satisfies the safety and health requirements.

Measuring apparatus

Tear resistance test
Source: IFA

The IFA conducts the following tests on temporary floor coverings:

  • Traceability of the product
  • Completeness of the instructions for use
  • Chemical safety with respect to emissions of volatile organic compounds
  • Coefficient of dynamic friction to DIN 51131 of the floor covering in the dry and wet state
  • Mass per unit area (of non-self-adhesive floor coverings)
  • Adhesive strength (of self-adhesive floor coverings)
  • Ladder test based upon EN 131
  • Tear resistance
  • Bond strength of the layers
  • Bending length (of non-self-adhesive floor coverings)
  • pH value
  • Walk test on floor coverings for steps

The tests can take the form of:

  • Type examination for the purpose of awarding of the DGUV test mark
  • Discrete test/development test

Commissioning of the performance of tests

List of approved products

in the IFA-Handbuch (in German only)

OSH bonus

OSH bonus of BG BAU (in German only)


Orhan Ceylan

Accident Prevention: Digitalisation – Technologies

Tel: +49 30 13001-3549
Fax: +49 30 13001-38001