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range and scope of slip testing methods
can make it hard for the uninformed to determine wether their floors are safe. Whilst there is no worldwide
recognised 'definitive slip risk test', BS 7976 (The Pendulum) probably
comes closest. Research is ongoing into a more unified approach to the
assessment of slip risk, however until such an approach is widely adopted
the possibility of mismatched and sometimes misleading slip testing
The accuracy of the slip test method lies largely in its ability to replicate, measure and classify the behaviour of a heel slip in the conditions that it is likely to occur. Some tests provide accurate results in particular conditions, however results are misleading when the conditions of the surface and footwear in end use are different to test conditions. DIN 51130, for example, uses safety boots and oil, results would not then be applicable in a shopping centre environment. It is, unfortunately, all too common for us to visit a site and declare a floor dangerously slippery, to the surprise of responsible parties who have installed an "anti-slip" DIN 51130 R10 rated floor.
Services provided by Grip Potential include the following:
BS 7976 (The Pendulum Method) - On-site or in-house assessment using the HSE's preferred method of testing with contaminants relevant to the test site. The pendulum benefits from an extensive correlation to real slip accidents and a stringent calibration routine, making it the only slip test method in regular use in personal injury cases. Further information.
Rz Surface Roughness - Not to be considered a slip test in its own right, surface roughness measurements taken in support of a pendulum assessment can provide additional information about a floor surface and its ability to cope with contaminants. Further information.
The above tests conducted together are recognised as providing the most accurate measure of pedestrian slip resistance of a surface in-situ. We would not recommend any other in-situ test for the assessment pedestrian of slip risk.
BS EN 13036-4 - Determination of the skid resistance of a road or airfield surface. Outside the scope of pedestrian slip risk assessment, but utilising a similar assessment method. The Pendulum has been adopted extensively to measure the skid resistance of road and aircraft landing surfaces. Further information.
Common "Ramp" slip tests include:
DIN 51130 - A commonly used German method that produces an 'R value' ranging from 9 to 13. Though commonly used, the method utilises oil contamination, which is not usually representative of end use and as such is a poor indicator of slip resistance. Further information.
The HSL Ramp Test - A method developed by the Health and Safety Laboratory and UK Slip Resistance Group uses shoe soles representative of pedestrian footwear and contamination representative of end use. Further information.
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
Less formal "DIY" slip tests include:
Slips Assessment Tool - DIY slip risk assessment provided for free through the HSE's SAT. The computer program combines surface roughness measurement with a structured risk assessment to give an indication of slip risk. Shortcomings of the tool lie in its reliance on surface roughness, which should be considered as a guide, not an accurate measure of slip resistance. Further information.
Sled Testers - Self propelled trolleys move across the surface whilst measuring drag. Popular in Italy, these have been found to give inaccurate results in contaminated conditions and as such are not in wide use in the UK. Further information.
SlipAlert - Although quicker and easier to use than the pendulum, and not requiring a trained or experienced operator, the pendulum remains the preferred test method of the HSE and UK Slip Resistance Group, both are unbiased independent expert bodies. Further information.
For a test to provide accurate measurement of the slip resistance experienced by pedestrians in end use it must;
Accurately measure the coefficient of dynamic friction of the test surface, in both dry and contaminated conditions.
Utilise standardised materials representative of pedestrian footwear or bare feet, prepared in a standardised manner.
Benefit from a stringent calibration routine giving a reliable indication that the test equipment is performing correctly.
Be portable so as to measure surfaces in situ in end use conditions.
Produce results that can be intelligently classified and justified as acceptable or unacceptable risk.
To our knowledge, the BS 7976 Pendulum operated to UKSRG Guidelines is the only test method to do this.