Assessing floor slipperiness in fast-food restaurants in Taiwan using objective and subjective measures

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

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

68 Scopus citations


Slips and falls are major problems in occupational injuries in which floor slipperiness is a critical issue. Most of the studies on slipperiness assessments were conducted in laboratories. Field assessments are rarely reported in the literature. This study investigated floor slipperiness in seven kitchen areas of 10 western-style fast-food restaurants in Taiwan using both objective and subjective measurements which were conducted by friction measurements and by employees' ratings of floor slipperiness, respectively. The friction measurement results showed that the sink area had the lowest average friction in the kitchens. Employees, however, rated both the sink and back vat (chicken fry) areas as the most slippery areas. The Pearson's and Spearman's correlation coefficients between the averaged friction coefficients and subjective ratings for all 70 evaluated areas across all 10 restaurants were 0.49 and 0.45, respectively, with p<0.0001 for both. The results indicate that average friction coefficient and perception are in fair agreement, suggesting that both might be reasonably good indicators of slipperiness.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)401-408
Number of pages8
JournalApplied Ergonomics
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 2004
Externally publishedYes


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

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Human Factors and Ergonomics
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality
  • Engineering (miscellaneous)


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