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ASTM releases slip resistance performance standard

The US body publishes a new document to include this key footwear characteristic.

ASTM International has published ASTM F3445-21 – ‘Standard Specification for Performance Requirements when Evaluating Slip Resistance of Protective (Safety) Footwear using ASTM F2913 Whole Shoe Test Method’.

This is seen as an important step forward in promoting the fitness for purpose of footwear worn occupationally in the US market, and also provides a useful benchmark for other parts of the world not already governed by local standards (for example, the EU has EN ISO 20345). The standard covers safety footwear with hard toe caps and soft-toed versions covered by the broader specifications ASTM F2413 and ASTM F2892 respectively. Slip resistance was absent from those standards, but has now been addressed with the introduction of ASTM F3445-21.

With the addition of this new ASTM slip standard, aligned with the corresponding long-standing test method, the pairing offers safety professionals, along with the user community as a whole, a minimum performance standard intended to further enhance worker safety. This has been achieved following years of development and undergoing ASTM’s mandated consensus review and approval process.

Meeting the standard

The specification requires the coefficients of friction (COF) to be measured by the ASTM F2913 method, using equipment such as the SATRA STM 603 machine. This calls for the use of a defined quarry tile under dry and water-wet conditions (or alternative surfaces if relevant to specific workplace hazards). Three shoes, including at least one from each foot, are tested in the ‘forward heel’ and ‘backward forepart’ slip modes and assessed against a minimum required COF of 0.40 in all cases. A test report and a Certificate of Conformance is issued by a third-party laboratory. Successful footwear is identified by a permanent label of a certain size affixed to the footwear, stating on line one that the footwear ‘complies with Specification F3445-21’ and on line two ‘(SR)’, which identifies protection against slip hazards.

The specification is under the jurisdiction of ASTM committee F13 on pedestrian/walkway safety and footwear, and is the direct responsibility of subcommittee F13.30 on footwear. SATRA is very pleased to have assisted in a consultative capacity at the kind invitation of the subcommittee.

Publishing Data

This article was originally published on page 18 of the September 2021 issue of SATRA Bulletin.

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