Unreliable/Withdrawn Floor Slip Test Methods
ASTM C1028 SCOF test
The ASTM C1028 static coefficient of friction (SCOF) test was withdrawn (with no replacement) by the ASTM in 2014. SCOF testing in the wet condition has shown to have little relevance in predicting slip and fall accidents due to issues such as stiction and the fact that SCOF testing measures how slippery a floor is to someone who is standing still on it – not walking across it. More information on why this test is unreliable (in the wet condition) and was finally withdrawn by the ASTM (never to return) is available at C1028.info. The ASTM now has a reliable test method for assessing floor slip potential based on 50 years of international research ion 2022’s version of ASTM E303-22 “Standard Test Method for Measuring Surface Frictional Properties Using the British Pendulum Tester”.
Brungraber Mark II
The now defunct and withdrawn ASTM F1677 used the Brungraber Mark II (also known as PIAST) test device (pictured below). ASTM withdrew this standard in 2006 (only a little more than a year after passing the standard), with no replacement. One reason for ASTM’s withdrawal was poor precision in interlaboratory studies, meaning that everyone gets a different answer when testing the same tiles using this device. This tester and it’s withdrawn test method are therefore unreliable for assessing pedestrian slip risk. The unscrupulous full-time “expert” witnesses who make their living lying to juries with this device decided to make a couple minor adjustments to the Mark II, and then change its name to the Mark IIIB so they could continue to fool juries with “test data” using this unreliable device that can be easily manipulated by the user to get whatever answer they are paid to get by a high-powered attorney.
English XL – VIT
The now withdrawn and defunct ASTM F 1679 used the English XL Variable Incidence Tribometer (VIT), primarily for wet testing (pictured below). ASTM withdrew this standard in 2006 (with no replacement). One reason for this standard being withdrawn was poor precision, which made different users get totally different answers when testing the exact same tiles. Results from this slip tester depend highly on how the button is pressed to initiate the test, and therefore wildly different results can be obtained depending on who is pushing the button. The English XL’s test results can be manipulated by experienced users by pushing the button slowly or quickly, which makes it a popular device amongst professional expert witnesses who can get the results the lawyer (paying his bill) wants to see to support his/her case.
See the slip test devices in action in this video:
Most personal injury lawyers in the USA are very familiar with the Mark II, Mark IIIB, and English XL slip testers, and most lawyers who specialize in slip and fall lawsuits will have an older gentleman with a bunch of letters behind his name, a bunch of nice suits in his closet, and hundreds of highly-paid depositions and court testimonies under his belt on his cell phone’s speed-dial. These “experts” will just about always get whatever answer their lawyer client desires, whether working for defense or plaintiff. If you’re looking to win a slip and fall lawsuit with little regard for the truth, then these “experts” will serve you well. If you’re an architect, specifier, building owner, flooring designer/manufacturer, or other party who desires the truth based on decades of slip and fall research around the world, you’ll want a pendulum DCOF test using ASTM E303-22.