Slips, trips and falls accounted for...
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51130 ramp testing is a German developed method for obtaining
pedestrian slip resistance properties. Flooring samples are mounted horizontally on
the ramp tester and an operator clad in safety boots performs a standardised
walk up and down the sample. The sample is slowly inclined and the process
repeated while motor oil is fed onto the surface. The angle at which
the subject slips is recorded.
The DIN 51130 standard classifies results as follows:
The HSE "has reservations" about this form of slip testing as the lubricant is not representative of common contaminants and the R scale is often misinterpreted as running from R1.
The 'R rating' covers wide bands of CoDF spanning the accepted high, medium and low slip risk categories as shown below.
Another drawback of the method, and indeed all 'in-house' test methods is that tests are conducted on ex-factory samples. It is often the case that flooring installed and in use for a short period of time will have a different slip resistance to flooring leaving the factory. This is due to factory sealants wearing off, new sealants/polishes being applied, cleaning regimes and contamination. It is for this reason that the pendulum is such a widely used tool as it is the only accurate measure of slip resistance in situ as experienced by pedestrians using the surface.
As far as we are aware there are only a few laboratories in the country with the facilities required to conduct the above ramp tests, they are;
SATRA - www.satra.co.uk
CERAM - www.ceram.co.uk
RAPRA - www.rapra.net
The HSL - www.hsl.gov.uk