The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is considering new regulations that would require floor manufacturers to label the degree of slip resistance in their flooring.
The CPSC proposed the rules in response to safety advocates who said the measure would prevent slip-and-fall accidents among elderly people. Floor manufacturers are currently not required to indicate the level of slip resistance in floors.
The National Floor Safety Institute filed the petition, claiming that slip resistance labels would help elderly people make informed decisions when buying floors. They can select flooring that offers a higher degree of slip resistance, thereby reducing the risk of falling on slippery floors. Different types of flooring materials have significant variations in slip resistance, making them appropriate only for certain uses.
The elderly population is particularly vulnerable to slip-and-fall accidents. The institute noted that over 23,000 people died from accidental falls in 2014. It also compared the labels to the nutrition facts on food products that allow consumers to make informed choices.
The slip resistance labels would comply with the American National Standards Institute and include a graphic showing where flooring products fall on the traction scale. The rules would not apply to waxes and other floor coatings, or to coverings such as mats, rugs, carpets, runners and artificial turf. The public has until Feb. 1, 2016 to comment on the proposed safety regulations.
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