Falls are the leading cause of accidental injury and death for our nation’s elderly, most of which take place in the home. Research has revealed that half of all slip and fall injuries are caused by hazardous floors, which includes the cleaning products and footwear used by consumers. The National Floor Safety Institute (NFSI) believes that if provided with a label, the consumer will be able to make a more informed choice and reduce the risk of an accidental fall. This would benefit both residential homes and businesses.

The NFSI is petitioning the CPSC to initiate rulemaking to 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. The label would inform consumers what the traction levels are for the products they are considering purchasing.  “It’s important the consumer knows what they’re buying. It’s no different than food product labeling — the nutrition label on potato chips, candy bars and even bottles of water,” Russell Kendzior, President and Founder of the National Floor Safety Institute explained.

The easy to read label would show whether a product is high, moderate or low traction in accordance with the NFSI 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.

If the petition is approved, consumers would have the ability to know just how slippery a particular type of floor, shoe, or floor cleaning product is prior to purchase.

Founded in 1997, the National Floor Safety Institute (NFSI) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization whose mission is: “to aid in the prevention of slips, trips, and falls through education, research and standards development.” Since 2006, the NFSI authored safety standards for slip, trip and fall prevention through the B101 committee on slip, trip and fall prevention. The NFSI tests and certifies the level of traction on products like floor covering, floor mats, chemical floor cleaners and equipment.  For more about NFSI product certification visit: https://nfsi.org/certifications/certified-products/.

The NFSI believes that consumers have a right to know just how slippery the floors they seek to purchase are and ask that you support our petition by submitting a comment to the CPSC at: https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2024/01/22/2024-01081/petition-requesting-rulemaking-to-mandate-testing-and-labeling-regarding-slip-resistance-of-flooring.  The deadline date for comments is April 22, 2024.