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Walkway-safety tribometry standards need improvements in the area of machine neutrality and in more meaningful contextualization of test results. One of the underlying difficulties in improving these standards is that obsolete and incorrect abstractions of real-world resilient-surface friction underpin existing standards. Problematic abstractions include the static/dynamic friction model, the notion that the underlying friction model is deterministic, and the single-numeric-threshold method for determining whether or not a walkway surface, shoe bottom, or a combination of both, is r is not slip resistant. Significant improvements may be realized by considering required friction in the setting of slip-resistance thresholds and by a non-numeric ranking method for classifying slip resistance. The ASTM Board of Directors F13 Task Group recommendations for a new slip-resistance-testing model are seen to be both closely related to and congruent with the directions for improvement expressed in this paper.
pedestrian safety, slip resistance, slip, trip, and fall accidents, tribometry standards, walkway safety
Professor, The Peter J. Tobin College of Business at St. John's University, Staten Island, NY