Floor Safety & Slip Resistance

Floor Safety & Slip Resistance Checks

This slip resistance information is for employers, managers, and architects that stipulate floors or recondition existing floor surfaces.

As a business, how do you maintain floor safety through pendulum slip testing?

Did you know that a large proportion of accidents or slips at work are down to glossy’ flooring?

To help avoid any personal injury claims, it is important that employers, architects, and managers buy the appropriate flooring products that are detailed in the technical specifications. These stipulations inform all concerned on the slip resistance and pendulum skid test maintenance of such flooring and how to clean it safely.

While glossy floors may look good in a large office block or shopping complex, adapting a glossy floor, and making it non-slip is not always advised, and may show wear and tear over time. Please don’t be caught out. Check that your insurance provider covers slip floor coatings before use. Your insurance company will probably ask you to provide a slip resistance certificate for the anti slip product that has been applied to the surfacing.

Please be aware that it is a legal requirement for all producers and suppliers of flooring to provide the correct data for the slip resistance criteria on all their products. This is in respect to both non-slip and slip resistant materials, preferably, the manufacturer itself should categorise how slippy the floor is in accordance with Health and Safety recommendations.

So what should you look for when deliberating overnon slip flooring?

Coefficient of Friction (Cof) is one thing, which will give you the accurate slip testing statistics. The Floor Slip Test CoF is determined by using the ‘Pendulum Test’ to BS 7976-2 or BS EN 13036-4:2011 standards. The lowest Pendulum Test Value (PTV) or Slip Resistance Value (SRP) on a horizontal floor surface is 36, but must be more for surfaces with inclines.

The next thing to consider is the Floor Surface Roughness Test (Rz). This designates the slip resistance but only gives an indication of floor friction. It has been well documented that the same flooring can have identical Rz but have different resistances. In response, the Health & Safety Government Laboratories have declared that it is more noticeable when floors are wet and that 90% of slips happen on smooth surfaces.

The Rz test is completed by using a movable floor tester like a Surtronic Duo, giving the floor an average roughness reading. This is useful if you need to monitor the changes in wear over time.

The R Rating or Ramp Test tests the floor by raising a ramp and setting it at different inclines, providing different results as the ramp gets steeper. The higher the ramp can go without a heel slip, then the better the rating.

This test is completed up to DIN 51130 standards, and the results can vary. It is normally used to test wet and dry floors, and to signal which floors may have been tainted.

The ABC Rating is a test that uses a barefoot to figure out how slippy a surface is. It is important to remember that floors classified as R9 and R10, and some in R11 may not be suitable in wet or greasy conditions.

How do you pick the correct non-slip floor? IMPORTANT!!!

The best thing to do is to remember that the suppliers’ information you are given at sale only relates to the product ‘as supplied’ and does not take into account situations like:

If wheelchairs are used on a regular basis. It is always best to check what angle the slope should be by reading your Building Regulations.

What pollutants could have been introduced during the construction or floor laying process; such as oil, blood, fat, sawdust and talcum powder.

The shoes that are worn. Slips and falls could be halted by asking all staff to wear non-slip shoes, or to purchase some for inside use only.

Floor Cleaning. Checking consistency and frequency.

Changes in the floor manufacturing process. It may be cost effective to conduct a Pendulum Test on the first day the floor is laid. This will quickly identify if the floor meets all the resistance and requirements.

What are the benefits of floor coatings?

Economically, they are a quick solution to make non-slip floors meet HSE approval.

Our industry has moved on, and now better than ever, understands what works and how long it will last. It is true that suppliers are still limited, with not many companies meeting the required PTVs.

Currently, coatings are hard to come by, but the main one’s on the market today are:

  • Paint (Non-Slip or aggregated)
  • Epoxy Resin Coatings
  • Polyurethane floor coatings
  • Screed (Thin solution of concrete with no aggregate)

If you like the sound of non-slip floor coating, which meets all legal requirements, and includes up to ten years’ warranty, please talk to us. We are here to help you.

Now to the disadvantages….

It’s all down to the preparation. Like most things, the bigger the surface, the harder the job.

To peel coat a floor evenly is not an easy job. The moistures can be soaked up quickly or not left to dry for long enough. Using expired merchandise could also cause issues and at a minimum, could cause slight slippery patches.

Some coatings also dry hard, and although they may be ‘PTV Safe’, over time they could become polished from the amount of foot traffic.

It’s a sad thing to say, but a lot of non-slip coatings do not meet the required 36 PTV, so please, check before you buy.

For further reading please look at:

‘Safer surfaces to walk on – Reducing the Risk of Slipping’

‘Specifiers Handbook for Inclusive Design (SHID): Internal Floor Finishes’

Consideration of floor types for architects and designers

Assessing the Slip Resistance of Flooring

Supermarket Floor Slip Experience

For more information on coatings, have a look at WATCO.

You can view how we carry out pendulum slip tests throughout The UK here:

Slip-testing.co.uk is part of Surface Performance Ltd. We offer a comprehensive slip resistance testing service in the following locations;pendulum slip testing in The North of England including skid tests in Sheffield, Manchester, Bradford, Hull. Pendulum slip resistance Munro testing in; Middlesborough, South Shields, Newcastle, slip testing in Darlington. Floor testing in Lancaster, Runcorn, Preston, Bolton, Warrington, Cheshire. Slippery floor check testing in Blackpool, Chester, Crewe, Oldham. We also offer a full floor slip resistance testing service in Stockport, Rochdale, Sandbach and slip testing in the North East & North West of England.
Slip testing is carried out throughout the North & South of England in areas such as Humberside, Lincoln, Nottingham, Birmingham. Pendulum testing can be performed in places such as The Midlands, Rugby, Stoke on Trent, Wakefield, Leeds, Yorkshire. Our slip testing technicians are based in Derby, Oxford, Cambridge & Grantham.
We are the only London based company that offers pendulum slip resistance and skid testing in Watford, Milton Keynes, Reading, Putney, Central London. We carry out floor checks and tests throughout Central London and the surrounding areas such as Brentford, Wimbledon, Cranleigh, Guildford and Weybridge. We offer a floor testing service to schools, hospitals, airports and hotels in London, Portsmouth, Bournemouth, Brighton and Eastbourne. Our pendulum slip test machine is easiliy transportable to all of these locations. Our technicians have availability to carry out floor testing and well priced checks in locations in the South West of England such as Bristol & Bath. Pendulum testing to floors can also be performed in Plymouth, Exeter, Cornwall, Chepstow (slip testing throughout South Wales) and Downend. We have a great slip test report turnaround service of 48 hours in Dover, Hastings, Swansea (pendulum slip resistance floor tests in Wales) & Sevenoaks. Our pendulum slip testing service really does cover the entire of The UK & Scotland. Scotland slip resistance tests and Munro slip testing is carried out in Edinburgh, Glasgow, Aberdeen, Livingston. We even carry out floor slip tests in the Isle of Wight and Ireland, Poole and Pembrokeshire. Please contact our head office and laboratory in London for slip testing in any UK location.