The National Floor Safety Institute (NFSI) has petitioned the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) to require floor covering manufacturers to label their products' traction in accordance with the 2014 ANSI/NFSI B101.5 product label.
NFSI's president, Russ Kendzior, said, "Slips and falls are one of the leading causes of injuries, of which 55% are caused by unsafe floors. However, when it comes to buying a floor, most consumers are in the dark and assume all floors are safe only to find out that they are not once they are injured."
NFSI research has shown that most floor coverings are evenly distributed along the three traction ranges, making it just as easy for the consumer to select a high-traction floor as that of a low-traction floor.
"Safety should not be a crap shoot for the consumer," said Kendzior. "Running your fingers across a floor's surface is not an accurate measurement of the product's safety as it will be walked on. The flooring industry is already testing their products' slip resistance and all we are asking is they make that information available to the consumer via an easy to understand product label."
However, there is fierce opposition from flooring manufacturers. A Mohawk Industries representative stated, "Providing coefficient of friction (COF) information of product packaging misdirects the consumer and can lead to a false sense of safety. Our decades of experience in the floor covering industry indicates that wet and dry traction are generally self evident to consumers simply by walking on the product, or running a hand over it under the expected conditions (i.e.: wet and dry)."
"Safe floors are only insured by keeping floors clean and dry," said Eric Astrachan of the Tile Council of North America (TCNA), the trade association representing the ceramic tile industry and Chuck Muehlbauer from the Marble Institute of America (MIA) added that the proposed label "will not increase safety only confusion."
For more information visit nfsi.org.