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Regarding the NFSI Rebuttal

September 27, 2013
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On August 23, 2013, you published a letter to the editor from the National Floor Safety Institute regarding a study our association releasedon slip resistance. Please accept the enclosed response.

CSPA Response Statement

CSPA stands firmly behind our longstanding support for the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) Standard Test Method D-2047, known as the James Machine method, for evaluating the slip resistance of floor polishes that our member companies produce for use in consumer’s homes, public and private buildings, schools, hospitals and many other facilities.  Product safety and public safety continues to be the most important and long standing commitment of our trade association and the world class member companies that embody it. 

Without question, the recent interest in seeking to test walkway safety under wet conditions has prompted CSPA to speak out on our historic and continued support for well-validated, science based and reliable test methods to measure walkway safety, which we assert should focus on the most prevalent and important uses—which is the day to day traffic on flat, dry surfaces in our customer’s facilities.  

Late last year, the CSPA Polishes and Floor Maintenance Division unanimously agreed that it should reaffirm its’ recognition that the James Machine method continues to be the most reliable and science based method for measuring static coefficient of friction of polished floors (see attached CSPA Floor Safety: Measuring Slip Resistance).  

The fact that most “slip and fall” incidents “occur most often on wet and poorly maintained floors” should not encourage the default to a conclusion that the polish industry should develop and rely on a wet test method to measure slip resistance.  Quite frankly, a long history of valid scientific study and common sense should lead the industry and the safety community to the conclusion that floors should be well maintained and dry--and that spills and moisture should be cleaned up and appropriately managed.

Rather than lag behind the times, as this critique suggests, the James Machine method has, in fact, stood the test of time.  There is no evidence that this standard is not valid and adequate for evaluating slip resistance of polished floors.  Developed in the 1940s by Sidney James of UL, the James Machine method has survived more than 60 years of scientific demands for reliability and reproducibility. 

Also, we ask that you please be sure to include below is a link to a brief overview on floor safety from the CSPA Polishes & Floor Maintenance Division.

Floor Safety Overview


Consumer Specialty Products Association

1667 K Street NW, Suite 300

Washington, DC 20006

Direct: 202-833-7311


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