American National Standards Institute (ANSI)

Based in Washington D.C., the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) has been the administrator and coordinator of U.S. voluntary standards for more than 80 years. A non-profit organization, ANSI does not itself develop standards, but facilitates development by establishing consensus among qualified groups. There are currently more than 1,000 members of ANSI and more than 16,000 ANSI standards. ANSI is a founding member of and the official U.S. representative to the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), and participates in 78% of all ISO technical committees.

A1264.1-R2002 - Safety Requirements for Workplace Floor and Wall Openings, Stairs and Railing Systems: The American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE) acts as secretariat for this ANSI standard. The 1995 version of the standard was reaffirmed in 2002, and is currently being updated by the committee. This standard sets forth safety requirements in industrial and workplace situations. They are designed to protect persons in areas/places where, during normal, temporary or under emergency conditions, persons or objects are at risk of falling through floor or wall openings, or from platforms, runways, ramps and fixed stairs. This standard establishes minimum safety requirements for working and walking areas, including fixed stairs, and is designed to assure reasonable safety for persons pursuing foreseeable duties. The A1264.1 standard makes several references to, but does not define "slip resistance. The A1264.2 standard was developed to further define the term "slip resistance" and its related derivatives (i.e., slip index, slip resistant).

A1264.2-2001 - Standard for the Provision of Slip Resistance on Walking/Working Surfaces

The American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE) acts as secretariat for this ANSI standard, which was officially adopted in August of 2001. It differs from other slip resistance standards (such as those from ASTM International and Underwriters Laboratories) in that it is oriented to workplaces rather than public places, and specifies a numeric guideline of safety for walking. It is the only standard -- aside from the James Machine standard for polished surfaces (ASTM D2047) -- to set a guideline value. Although A1264.2-2001 appears to only address a guideline value for slip resistance under dry conditions, the document implies that the guideline value of 0.5 is also appropriate under wet conditions.

This standard provides criteria for businesses to reduce the potential for employee slips and falls. Though it can be considered state-of-the-art, revisions of the standard will be necessary as advances in the field are made. It provides for the minimum performance requirements necessary for increased safety on walking/working surfaces in the workplace. Since many workplaces are also subject to pedestrian foot traffic from the public, this standard can also deliver similar benefits by reducing the potential for injury to the public.

In some instances, the standard refers the user to other ANSI and ASTM documents for further details. Due to the broad scope and many specifications provided or referenced in A1264.2, support from a knowledgeable and experienced safety consultant can provide constructive and valuable assistance.

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