Statistics by the UK Health and Safety Executive (HSE) suggest that slips, trips and falls account for up to one in three major workplace accidents. The vast majority of these accidents are the result of contaminant (fluid or solid) within the shoe-floor contact. Though the lubrication mechanisms for liquid contaminants within the contact are well understood, the same cannot be said for particulate contaminants. This paper considers the key parameters controlling friction in a shoe-floor contact contaminated with various particles of different diameters and shape factors and floors with different roughness values (Rz). Experiments were conducted using a Stanley Pendulum Tester, which is the floor friction tester recommended by the HSE. Results suggest that the adhesive friction is significantly affected by particulate contaminants, while the hysteretic component is not. Three lubrication mechanisms identified as sliding, shearing and rolling have been observed depending on floor roughness, particle size and shape factor and have been plotted in a simple map to predict behaviour
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