Data collected and published by the Health and Safety Laboratory shows that “profiled surfaces” such as checker plate can be misleading. The article states that profiled surfaces are not necessarily as slip resistant as expected, perception is confusing and it is difficult to keep clean.
There was also a shoe performance test done on both steel and checker plate. There is little difference in the slip resistance of plain steel and checker plate. In all cases, the coefficient of friction (COF) never reaches higher than .060.
In my opinion, the study shows that even with checker plate and a variety of different “slip resistant” shoe options, the surface is still slippery in wet conditions. In order to comply with OSHA guidelines, the surface would have to have a COF of at least 0.60. In the study provided, the two leading types of footwear on a checker plate assembly with water present, only provided a COF of about 0.54 and 0.58.
If checker plate lacks slip resistance in a wet environment with slip resistant footwear, imagine how slippery it would be with ordinary work boots. I think companies and municipalities nationwide that currently use checker plate assemblies should take this point into consideration.
An Agency of the Health and Safety Executive. s.org.uk/downloads/health_safety/6T5VY_slips%20and%20trips.pdf February 2009.