Slip Co-efficient Testing And Slip Test Certification Across UK

Skid Testing

When you walk into a new mall, or a large condominium building, you are amazed by the genius of the architect who did the job. You gape with wonder at the tall arches of the building, the shiny shops, and the shiny floor as well.

Even as you wonder about the ingenious of the Architect or contractor, have you ever thought about the effort that is put into ensuring that the shiny floor that you are walking on is safe for you? There are professionals who provide skid testing services to ensure that your floors are safe, and that you can walk without fear of tripping over and having a bad accident.

Skid testing is a science where specialized instruments are used to ensure that the floors that you walk on are safe for you. You may have heard of the debilitating pain that skid accidents can cause to an individual. You may also have heard of the huge punitive fines and compensation that is paid to victims of these accidents.

It is for these reasons that skid testing has to be done.

What methods are used for skid testing?

The moist common is the Pendulum Test, which is thought to give the most accurate results. The pendulum is left to slide across a floor as the boot is in contact with the floor. The boot will then measure just how slippery the floor is.

How are skid test results implemented?

When the floor is found to be safe, then the technician performing the skid testing will give a report and declare the floor safe. However, if the floor is not safe, then the expert will give recommendations that will ensure that the floors are safe once more.

There are several methods that can be used for changing the slipperiness of a floor. Some of them will involve the use of chemicals, while others may be a bit more invasive than that. The expert may ask for a floor to be replaced, or an abrasive used on the surface to make it less slippery.

All in all, skid testing is done so that people can walk innocently across floors without having to worry about taking a nasty spill. It is still possible to find some floors that have not been given the proper treatment, and this puts all people at risk. Should you ever know of such a floor, advice the management and tell them about the benefits of skid testing.

There are several companies involved in skid testing, but we have a lot of experience in the matters and will offer you the best results. We can take samples of your flooring material to the lab or work on it right from the site. We have a number of tests, and can perform all of them should you need in-depth results. Remember that skid testing is done for the safety of people walking on the floors of your building, and also protects you from a very expensive lawsuit.

image7

Slip Resistance Testing and who it is designed for

Introduction

Not many people are aware of the term slip resistance testing. It is a term that should resonate with building managers, architects, contractors and cleaning companies. This testing is very important since it can lead to serious injury to innocent people walking on slippery floors. This test is also crucial for areas where oils and other lubricants can be found, such as restaurants kitchens and industrial facilities. Here we look at what skid resistance testing is, and who is to benefit or be aware about it.

Why should floors be tested for slipperiness?

It is important that you prove due diligence in order to avoid costly litigation should a slip accident happen on your premises. You have to show the court that you took every possible measure to ensure that the public areas and workplaces were safe, before you let people walk on these floors.

In most countries, the laws are quite clear as to who is liable when an accident happens. Firms have the duty to make sure that the workers and customers walking on their floors are safe at all times, in as far as is possible. Should the firm be found to have been negligent, then it can lead to civil or criminal liability litigation.

The first thing that a firm should do is conduct a slip resistance test on their floors to show compliance with the safety requirements. Should the floors fail the test, then certain measures will have to be implemented in order to bring the safety standards back to the required range.

Should a company or firm have untested floors within their premises, or have no risk assessment done, then that firm or company is being negligent and risks a heavy penalty in the case of a slip accident suit being files against them.

We provide slip resistance tests throughout the United Kingdom and Europe for all premises and industries. We also conduct safety and health consultancy and do risk assessments for any slippery surface.

Who is the main target in slip resistance testing?

Group 1 – The first group of people who are liable when it comes to slip resistance testing are architects, specifies and installers. Are they specifying a safe floor covering? How does it perform when slip resistance testing is done? Will the floor lead to any slip accidents happening on the premises and leave the owners in a legal suit?

There are times when a manufacturer will talk about great tiles with great properties. As an architect, specifier or installer, you need to know that the tile will meet the required specification for slip resistance. The only way to ascertain this is to ignore the manufacturers claim and perform an independent slip resistance test. This is where we come in; we provide independent slip resistance testing so you get to know that the floor will be safe after it is installed. This makes sure that you hand over a safe project to your client, and do not end up being liable in any accidents claims.

Group 2 – The next group of people who are liable in slip resistance accident claims are property owners and managers. When a slip accident happens within a facility or property, the managers find themselves facing hefty claims from the accident victims.

The safety and health management laws in most countries state that the property and facility managers should test their floors and carry out a risk assessment to avoid such accidents on the premises.

In order to determine whether a floor is safe or not, the managers and owners of facilities and premises should carry out slip resistance testing and ensure that a surface is compliant or not. If it is not compliant, then measures should be taken to rectify this. Anybody owning or managing a commercial property, where a floor has been installed, refurbished or has been used for a long time should have slip resistance testing performed on a regular basis.

In the event of a slip accident happening, the results and documentation of such tests are important in defending against a legal claim being lodged in court. It proves that the accident was not due to negligence on the part of the owner or manager of the premise.

Group 3 – The third group that finds itself in the crosshairs of legal suits is the contact cleaners. These ones are usually surprised when they are served with papers adding them to defendants in a slip accident claim.

The main issue is whether the contract cleaners is taking on a new floor before signing a cleaning contracts and whether the floor is kept in a finish a cleanliness state that promotes safety for people walking on it.

For example, consider that the contract cleaner took on a floor that was previously compliant to safety standards, and then later an accident happening and the floor was found not to be complaint. The managers or owners of the building will claim to have handed over a compliant floor, and poor cleaning has eroded this leading to the floor becoming non-compliant. This means the contract cleaner is liable.

Contract cleaners should insist on a slip resistance test being done before signing a cleaning contract, and then do periodic tests to ensure that the floor remains compliant.

Why should floors and other surfaces be tested regularly?

The owner or manager of a work environment or public space is responsible for the safety of the people within the environment. They should ensure that the places are risk free. Consider a situation where an employee spills a liter of oil on the floor and does not clean it up right away. He does not even ensure that the place is marked off and people warned not to walk on the floor where the spill has occurred. If any other person, whether an employee or customers falls when walking across that area, then the employee is found to be negligent and liable. This person may end up being sued, sacked or taken to court for criminal negligence. The same case occurs when it comes to owners and facility managers.  They should make sure that their floors are safe, and any areas found to be unsafe, clearly marked or the floor changed with appropriate measures.

Knowledge is one of the most important factors when it comes to avoiding slip and fall accidents at any premise or facility. The first step is to know whether your floors are slippery and potentially dangerous or not. If you do find that the floors are not compliant to the required standards, then you should take the required stapes to ensure that the dangers are minimized. Then you should test regularly to make sure that the new standard is maintained.

This brings us to the primary reason for carrying out slip resistance testing – It is to ensure that all floor surfaces have enough traction levels to enable normal, accident-free use. If a worker or member of the public falls on your floors and you have not done any slip resistance testing, then you leave yourself open to costly litigation.

What type of flooring surfaces should be tested?

Mostly, any floors that have slippery surfaces should be tested regularly. Testing is also done on bath and shower material in hotels and other public cloak areas. Even a surface that is thought to be non-slip, such as wood, should be tested after it has been used for a long time, since there may be contaminants that affect the traction. Shower trays and bathrooms are usually treated with chemicals surfacing products which do not later the look of the bathroom, but increase the traction and friction, thereby making them safe for use.

The most risky floors are listed below. However, note that this list is not exhaustive, so you should contact us to get more information if your material is not listed here.

  • Granite
  • Porcelain
  • Slate
  • Ceramic Natural stone, Marble
  • Clay pavers
  • Cement
  • Timber
  • Concrete paving and flags
  • PCV and flexible materials
  • Resin
  • Metal
  • Glass
  • Plastic

 

How are these surfaces tested?

The pendulum slip resistance test is the primary and most accurate method of testing such floors. It has the best traction properties and gives the results near the natural conditions and environment of the floor.

The pendulum test is the one used the most in UK and Europe. The pendulum best imitates the action of a foot walking and would give the best results for when the foot begins to slip. The beauty of this test is that it can be performed in a laboratory and also on site. There are certain standards that every surface has to adhere to, and these are best found using the pendulum test.

Actually, when litigation is taken to court, it is the pendulum test that is used and upheld in court. If you have tested your floors using any other methods, then the results will not stand in court and you might be found to be negligent.

Expert consultation, sophisticated roughness and surface profile analysis, expert witness in legal cases are all use to support slip resistance tests. Designers, manufacturers, contractors, distributors, installers and manufacturers all have a duty to care about the flooring materials that they use and propose. All the floors should be found to be “Fit for porpoise” and are risk free from the people who will be using the floors. The slip resistance of a floor is very important and the tests should be done regularly. There are laws that stipulate that all floors should be dry and free from lubricants before they are used. Slip resistance is done in these conditions to see what would happen should the floor be wet or oily.

How do you get slip resistance testing done on your premises?

We offer our slip resistance testing service to a wide range of industries. For a small one-time fee, we will test the floor surfaces in your premise, and then give you a detailed report. This report will be evidence that you have performed your due diligence to make sure that the public or workers in the premise are safe.

 

We are a leading provider of slip resistance testing all over the United Kingdom and Europe. We provide the Tortus Test and the Pendulum Test. We also give a full range of onsite consultancy service wall targeted at slip and skid matters. We test floors and surface at the site in order to identify a large number of important factors that will not be seen in the lab.

The factors considered can influence the slip resistance of flooring materials, even those that had passed the test within a lab. Factors include maintenance, cleaning regimes, wearing and weathering of the floor surface, substrate integrity, searching for presence of sealants that may affect friction, trafficking patterns and a lot more.

In conclusion

Skid resistance testing is crucial for any building owner, manager, architect, specifier, installer and any other party that may be found liable if an accident happens. It is your cumulative duty to ensure that these materials are found to be safe for use by anybody walking on them. It is your duty to ensure the safety of innocents by conducting slip resistance testing on all these floors. Do take time to contact us and see how we can perform these tests in the lab and on the site so you are free and safe from litigation, and the people walking on the floors are properly protected from slip and fall accidents.

 

image14

A comprehensive look at why slip resistance testing is necessary

The most dominant type of accidents that occur in public places and work environments are falls due to slippery floors

Every fall has a high risk of leading to a debilitating injury, and can sometimes be fatal. All this will depend n how the person fell, and which part of the body hit the floor hardest. When it is the head, then a fatality is probable. These are the slip accidents that are termed as “High Potential”. However, not all accidents led to serious injuries, but the fact that they can potentially be dangerous has led industry professionals to avoid all forms of slipping accidents. This is why slip testing is a priority.

Poor friction between the shoe and the floors is the cause of slip accidents. There was a lot of research done within the last half of the century on what slipping is all about, and how it can be measured. The 90’s brought about rapid progress. There has been some ridiculous ideas permeating the scientific community about the importance of slip testing, but that is to be expected within scientists and engineers. There are scientists who do not know that s hard smooth surface can be more slippery than ice when it gets wet.

The design of slip testing

Slip resistance is affected by, the materials of the floor and the finishing applied, the material and texture of the shoes worn by pedestrians, the way that the pedestrian walks and if there are any contaminants n the floor. The gait of the pedestrian is fully out of the domain of the slip testing expert and the type of shoes worn is also determined by the pedestrian. However, the construction of the floor,  its maintenance and the contaminants present are within the control of the expert. These are the ones that are normally considered when slip resistance testing methods are being designed.

When considering the floor design, the environmental conditions that are foreseen are the first considerations. The features of any surface that will prevent poor traction have to be specified, a threshold designed, constructed and maintained. This will look at floors, ramps, ladders, platforms and stairs. All surfaces should be considered, whether they are fixed or mobile – such as escalators.

The maintenance of the floors is the next consideration. Chemical processes and environmental conditions can come together and cause a floor to be slippery. The chemicals that are used in the maintenance and regular cleaning of the floors should be specified.  It is crucial that the floors be inspected regularly and workers made to be accountable so the floors are kept in safe walking condition.

How do slips occur?

Most slips come from wet surfaces or surfaces with lubricants such as oil or detergents. Water, oil and other chemicals are the main causes of slip accidents. The roughness of the floor is also a factor to be considered, since the edges should be able to rise above the lubricating material and provide traction for the shoes.

If an accident or a slip test shows that a floor is too slippery, then there is the need to replace the surface of the floor to make it much rougher and therefore provide proper safety for all pedestrians. There are chemical methods of making a floor rougher. The Y-slip treatment is one of them, and another is to use aggressive cleaning treatments which remove any material that may have built up over time affecting the roughness of the floor. There are mechanical methods that can also be used to increase the roughness of a floor, either by abrasion or adding texturizing materials.

If it is not possible to treat the floor, then it would have to be replaced with a different material, which has a high roughness factor. This can be done by applying textured surface coatings or by simply laying a new floor over the old one.

Finishes or treatments should be tested under their use conditions since the real world phenomena in a workplace or a mall are very different from those of a lab. Once this has been done, then the materials can be specified for use for any floor. The performance of a flooring system should also include the methods of cleaning and the materials used. Sometimes the cleaning personnel who normally carry out these  processes are included in the test.

Proper slip resistance under wet or lubricated conditions should use materials whose surfaces are rough enough so that the peaks are able to rise above the lubricating film and interact with the shoe.  It should be noted that the tread pattern, texture and material of the shoe will also affect the slip resistance performance of the floor. Where footwear can be controlled, such as a factory environment, then the management should specify the type of shoes to be worn at all times.

How to improve existing floors

There is a lot that can be done in the design and construction of a new floor so that slip accidents are prevented. However, there are times when the floor is found to be slippery and continues to be a hazard to pedestrians. Walking surfaces that were once safe could also become slippery due to constant wear. What can be done to improve these conditions?

Maintenance of the floor

The cleaning and maintenance of the floor should be considered first since these are the once that lead to wear. If a floor has been waxed or finished to be very smooth, then it will become more slippery if it is not maintained properly. The only solution in this case would be to strip the floor and apply a new rough surface.

When it comes to maintenance, the chemicals used to treat the floor should be adequately considered – this includes cleaning and finishing chemicals. Chemicals suppliers should be able to give proper advice on the chemicals to be used on different floor  surfaces. The process should then be tested in real conditions to ensure that it is effective and that it can be applied properly by the people who work there maintaining and cleaning the floors. After the materials have been tested and approved, clear instruction should be given.

The procedure should then be presented to the management and proper training methods devised. The training will not be enough to ensure that proper procedures are followed, so the maintenance  and cleaning crew should be properly monitored and supervised to ensure that they are complying with the requisite procedure.

The training crew should be responsible and accountable, so the management should set certain standards to be adhered to. There must be a practical means of measuring slip resistance under the real use conditions in order to help in quality control.

Other types of maintenance

It is important to prevent leaks and spills that can increase the slipperiness of a floor. This means fixing leaking pipes and drains, faulty equipments and clogged waterways immediately. This should be done to avoid negligent accidents.

Warning and signs

These should be places where slippery spills are expected. It may have been found that particular areas are susceptible to spills, and there may not be any personal in the area to clean up the spill. Therefore warning signs should be placed prominently telling pedestrians that the floor could be slippery when wet and they should walk carefully.

Another way would be to provide mats and other safe surfaces in these areas. Therefore, when a spill occurs, the mats protect the pedestrians from slipping.

Efficiency of mats

Mats are used for cleaning and drying the shoes of pedestrians. They are usually placed at the entrances of most buildings and other locations where contaminants may make the floor slippery. The efficiency of the mats is crucial, since if they do not clean the shoes properly, there is a danger of a slip accident occurring.

The mats must be securely fixed to the floor and they should also lie flat on the floor in order to improve their efficiency. If the mat has a curling edge or corner, it presents a hazard where someone ay trip over the curl. The mats should also have a high absorbency and drainage factor. This is especially important when high moisture is expected, such as a rainy day. The size of the mats will affect the absorbency and drainage. It is important to consult an expert before laying down any mats.

Other floor treatments

There are many other ways in which you can reconstruct smooth floors which have been found to be too slippery after wear over time.

Ceramic tiles can have the roughness factor improved with several different types of surface treatment chemicals which increase the slip resistance of the surface. Before anything is done on ceramic tiles, it is important to speak to an expert. Contact us and we shall be on-hand to advice you.

When you look at restaurants, organic liquids are very common and this can lead to polymerization if the floors are not properly cleaned. This layer can cause the floor to become slippery since it coats the rough surface of the floor. Aggressive cleaning treatments should be done on such floors. Contact us and we can help rehabilitate your restaurant kitchen floor.

There are other resilient floors that become quite slippery when they are lubricated.  Chemical applications that have abrasive granules are used in order to add slip resistance to such floors.

Smooth and hard metallic and concrete floors are treated with trowel and painted finishes which add the slip resistance of the floors. The hardness and roughness of these varies. Durability and chemical resistance of such treatments should be considered. The best is one that adhere properly to the floor below and should maintain its slip resistance even after repeated cleaning and maintenance.

Definition of slip resistance testing as opposed to other tests

  • The force that is required to start motion between an object and the surface it is resting on is called the Static Coefficient of Friction.
  • The force required to keep the object sliding one motion has begun is called the Dynamic Coefficient of Friction

In cases where a pedestrian slips, the contamination on the surface is the first to be investigated since dry, clean surfaces are not slippery. The investigation looks at whether the surface was rough enough to protrude through the contaminant layer and make contact with the shoe. This is what is called investigating the slip resistance of a floor, as opposed to the Coefficient of Friction.

Adhesion is another issue that complicates the investigation of slip resistance. Many investigators call it Stiction when the floor is wet, and not Adhesion. Adhesion or stiction is a function of the slider pads that are used during slip testing. Any delay between the contact of the pad and the surface, and when the horizontal force is applied makes adhesion to occur.

Surfaces that have been wet with water may cause a delay of 0.2 of a second and can produce stiction that will cause the results to be higher than they should be. This can lead to a floor being classified as safe when it is not.

Therefore, all drag sled meters and articulated strut instruments will have stiction since they do not apply horizontal and normal forces at the same time that initial surface contact occurs. This means that these instruments will always give false readings when they are used under wet conditions. This is another crucial matter within the industry.

If you do have any questions about slip resistance, or need your floors to be tested,link.

 

image14

Understanding Slip Testing and Why it is Necessary

Slip testing is a method that is used to ascertain the safety of floors in most commercial buildings and homes. Most accidents that occur in workplaces and public places are mainly due to tripping, slipping and falling. When correct measures are used by the owners and constructors of these laces, these accidents can be reduced considerably. Floor slip testing has played a great role in reducing the number of accidents that occur in these environments. The tests help in identifying and managing the wear and tear of a floor, any cleaning residues or contaminants. The floors have to be certified in order to ensure that they are safe for walking on. Read more