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ADVANCING TRIBOMETRY ONE STEP AT A TIME
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ADVANCING TRIBOMETRY ONE STEP AT A TIME
Change is inevitable. This is especially true with floors and walkways. There may be a variety of contaminants migrating from one place to another, carried on the soles of footwear, or spread by a dirty mop. Accumulation of this contamination may be irregular and not always be obvious to the eye. There is also the “wear and tear” factor over periods of time and with traffic patterns. There are three basic states of a floor surface when it comes to coefficient of friction measurement: 1. What the floor is capable of delivering in a pristine (ultimately cleaned) state. 2. What the floor is capable of delivering in its routinely cleaned state (remember the dirty mop). 3. What the floor is delivering in its current or active state (before routine cleaning). Knowing these three measurement values can go a long way in setting up proper floor cleaning schedules, or knowing how effective cleaning products and procedures are.  
Taking the First Big Step You may be asking yourself; “If I test my floor, and it is found to be deficient, am I now compelled to act?” Or, “If I choose to remain in the dark, how could I be held liable if a slip-fall injury occurs?” The answers to these  questions are becoming clearer each day. Unfortunately, it has taken many years, serious injuries, expensive lawsuits, and needless deaths to bring about positive changes. Choosing “not to know”  is still a choice that  none of us can afford. Measurement is the first positive step in the right direction. Who’s Minding the Store? You may have heard the terms “General Duty Clause” or “Duty of Care”. These are legal  terms which basically assign responsibility for providing a reasonably safe and secure  environment to the business or property owner. The key point is to be both vigilent and  diligent regarding the condition of your floors at any given time. A slip-fall can occur without  warning, so having an established floor safety management program (including periodic COF  measurements) may help to “save your bacon” if or when someone does experience a slip-fall  incident. Thrills and Spills No matter how careful we try to be, spills just seem to happen. Often they are cleaned up promptly, but sometimes they end up on the floor where they aren’t always noticed right away. Liquids of all types can lower the slip resistance of a surface, be it a table top, or a shopping mall floor. A flooring surface with sufficient COF “headroom” can provide an extra margin of safety. Do you know where your floor rates on the COF scale?  Friction Partners  A floor is a very dynamic surface. If you add up all the potential variables, it can become a bit overwhelming. First there are the substrates, whether terrazo, vinyl, concrete, etc. Then there are sealers, polishes, stains, and other coatings. Add contaminants such as grease, dirt, dust, oils, coffee, etc. Now add the infinite number of footwear types (often carrying around their own contamination) treading over the surface, migrating the various contaminants from place to place. Each one of these elements or “friction partners” may have COF additive or subtractive properties. Measuring a floor’s potential COF (in a pristine state) vs. it’s current, or active state can reveal plenty of valuable information, such as determining the best floor cleaning schedule.  Continuous Product Improvement In the product design world, it is important to not only develop the products that people need, but to also develop the mindset that the designs are never quite finished. There is a manufacturing concept which communicates feedback from product users to the engineers responsible for making their products either cheaper, faster, or better in some way. A controlled revision process within a robust quality management system helps ensure that each production unit is identical for that particular model or revision number. We strive to pay attention to our customer’s feedback and then explore the possibilities of adding value through the continuous improvement process.    A secure and confident walk is based upon a good pairing or relationship between a person’s shoes and the type and condition of the surface that he or she traverses. While there are “high-traction” labeled shoes found in the marketplace, many do not state how this rating was acheived. If you cannot control the footwear entering your place of business, you must assume that some people will be wearing shoes made from cheap materials in countries where safety is not much of a concern. A good strategy is to have quality flooring that  measures high in slip resistance and is kept clean and dry.   “Sole” Searching Some wet test methods call for the use of a highly diluted (0.05 - 0.1%) surfactant or wetting agent as part of the standard protocol. The simple reason for this is because water may tend to “bead” when applied to certain surfaces, due to the surface tension of the water. Sodium Lauryl Sulfide (SLS) is a common surfactant found in many cleaning agents that reduce surface tension and allow detergents to work more effectively. Wet testing a surface with water alone may produce erratic results due to an inconsistant dispersion of the liquid. With SLS, a thin, even film can be obtained which helps promote consistancy of test results.   Wetter Water Going Through Changes
Smart People Know When to Capitalize
It is amazing how many small businesses are unwisely ignoring the tax benefits they can legally use to help grow and become more profitable. The IRS wants you to succeed because it helps them in the long run. The purchase of expensive tools and other essential equipment for your business can, in many cases, be capitalized or “expensed” over a few years time. This allows you to depreciate aging equipment and purchase new equipment when needed. Your accountant or tax professional should be able to help you take advantage of this valuable strategy. Click the following link for an excellent article from FindLaw.com:
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