Objective and subjective measurements of slipperiness in fast-food restaurants in the USA and their comparison with the previous results obtained in Taiwan

Wen Ruey Chang, Kai Way Li, Yueng Hsiang Huang, Alfred Filiaggi, Theodore K. Courtney

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

27 Scopus citations

Abstract

Floor slipperiness is a critical issue in slip and fall incidents which are a major source of occupational injuries. The objectives of the current study were to investigate if the protocols used in a field study conducted in Taiwan could be used in similar environments in the USA and whether consistent results could be obtained. Protocols used in the field study to investigate floor slipperiness in western-style fast-food restaurants in Taiwan included both objective and subjective measurements. Using the same methods as in Taiwan, friction was measured on tiles in six major working areas of 10 fast-food kitchens in the USA as an objective measurement of slipperiness, while the subjective measurement was employees' ratings of floor slipperiness over the same areas. The Pearson's and Spearman's correlation coefficients in the USA between the averaged friction coefficients and subjective ratings for all 60 evaluated areas across 10 restaurants were 0.33 (p = 0.01) and 0.36 (p = 0.005), respectively, which were lower than the correlations of 0.49 and 0.45, respectively, obtained in Taiwan. Cultural differences, the amount of water on the floors in the sink areas and the existence of a slip resistant shoe program in one country might be contributors to the lower correlation coefficients in the USA. However, the current study confirmed the results obtained in Taiwan that average friction coefficient and perception values are in fair agreement, suggesting that both might be reasonably good indicators of slipperiness.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)891-903
Number of pages13
JournalSafety Science
Volume44
Issue number10
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2006

Keywords

  • Fast-food restaurants
  • Friction measurement
  • Slip and fall incidents
  • Subjective rating of floor slipperiness

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality
  • Safety Research
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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