A slip occurs when an individual loses traction between his or her foot and the surface on which is being traversed. When the individual falls as a result of this loss of traction, a slip and fall incident has occurred. The slip resistance between a walking surface and an individual’s foot is dependent upon several parameters:
- The floor material and finish
- An individual’s shoe material and texture
- Environmental surface contaminants
- Pedestrian gait dynamics
If an individual encounters a slippery surface (or lower slip resistance) while making a downward step, it is likely that the introduction of the slippery surface would be unexpected. This sudden decrease in slip resistance may initiate a slip and fall accident. The analysis of a slip and fall incident may include any of the following:
- Assessing the frictional properties between walking surface and shoe material.
- Assessing the difference in slip resistance between adjacent walking surfaces.
- Analysis of an individual’s walking pattern.
- Testing of the floor material in accordance with applicable standards.
- Assessing the conformity of existing floor material slip resistance, floor/stair construction, or handrails, with applicable codes and standards.