The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is seeking comments on a petition for rulemaking that would adopt current slip resistance standards into regulations. If adopted, the standard would mandate testing and labeling regarding the slip resistance (traction) of commercial and residential grade floor coverings, floor coatings and treatments, residential and commercial floor cleaning agents, and consumer footwear.

CPSC is accepting comments through April 22, 2024.

Manufacturers of these products would be required to measure slip resistance using the most current version of NFSI’s standard B101.3, Test Method for Measuring the Wet Dynamic Coefficient of Friction (DCOF) of Hard Surface Walkways, and label their products in accordance with the most current version of NFSI standard B101.5, Standard Guide for Uniform Labeling Method for Identifying the Wet Dynamic Coefficient of Friction (Traction) of Floor Coverings, Floor Coatings, Treatments, Commercial and Residential Floor Chemical Agents, and Consumer Footwear (B101.5).

The major factors CPSC considers in deciding whether to grant or deny a petition (in pertinent part) include the following:

  • Whether the product presents an unreasonable risk of injury;
  • Whether a rule is reasonably necessary to eliminate or reduce the risk of injury; and
  • Whether failure of the commission to initiate the rulemaking proceeding requested would unreasonably expose the petitioner or other consumers to the risk of injury which the petitioner alleges is presented by the product.

The current petition is based on prior filing. CPSC denied that petition because there was insufficient information to demonstrate that the requested rule would assist consumers in assessing the comparative safety of floor coverings or reduce slip and fall incidents. Specifically, the commission concluded that the petition did not establish an association between slip and fall incidents and particular types of flooring; there was a lack of consistency and accuracy in test methods used; there was insufficient information in the petition to indicate that a high COF decreased the risk of slips and falls; and a labeling requirement would be insufficient to address the hazard because a COF is likely only one of several factors involved in slips and falls.

CPSC’s notification is available under Docket No. CPSC–2024–0003.

Contact ACA’s Riaz Zaman for more information.