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"Slips, trips and falls is a wickedly complex field, where we are disadvantaged by inappropriate use of slips causation terminology. This creates somewhat unreliable falls statistics Although there is much research seeking to prevent falls in the elderly, where causal factors are primarily intrinsic, there is relatively little recent research to prevent people slipping and tripping due to extrinsic causes. Australia has sound standards for determining slip resistance with several laboratories accredited to conduct pendulum testing. However, there is very little publicly accessible data that defines the safety of the built environment or its relationship to slip incidents."


These are the views of Richard Bowman, chair of the Slips trips and Falls (STF) SIG.


Richard has been heavily involved in international slip resistance standardisation, laboratory accreditation, accident investigations, and related research issues, but others may have different experiences and opinions. The SIG needs to conduct an internal review to create understanding and develop consensus; consider the evidence base; review the current state of play; identify gaps; and thus develop means of improving flooring specifications (to ensure safe floors for economically reasonable life cycles) and to assist improved STF investigations.