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The future of slip testing

Slip testing standards differ from one country to another, but there are certain standards that seem to be congruous to all affected countries. Slip testing is mainly done on flooring and flooring products, under various types of conditions. However, some industry insiders think that more needs to be done to increase safety against slip accidents especially at work.

The hospital industry, for example, has insisted that all workers wear a special kind of shoe that is resistant to slips, even if there are spills on the floor. What of the restaurant industry, and others? Slip testing officials feel that there is need for standardization of workplace footwear, to reduce slip and fall accidents especially amongst employees.

Other issues arise such as standardization of the quality of the flooring materials across all countries. Although this may be a bit embellished, they do raise an important issue. Imported flooring material should be properly tested according to the standards of the destination country. If it is tested to lower standards, then slip and fall accidents may happen when the new building is put up and used for a while.

The standards of the slip resistance test are governed by the resident country, but there should be an international standard that should be adhered to by all nations that are signatory to such a standard or organization.

This may be a big ask at the moment, but it is important that all slip resistance experts do see a way of standardizing slip resistance test requirements.

Today, most will use other materials to make up for any differences in these standards. Some will insist that imported floors are subjected to treatments to improve the friction, or certain mates are placed on the floors to stop slippage. This is an extra cost to the owner of the building, and if the floors were imported to certain international standards, such costs would not be necessary.

The whole issue of a global slip resistance test standard may seem like a fairy tale, but probably all international organizations started off in the same way. It just requires that the experts and public do their due diligence and come up with standards that are equal all over the world.

If you are a slip resistance testing expert, then this is something that you should mull over, even as you go about your work. Discuss it with other experts and see if there is a way to start such an organization. Petition the government and national standards body and ask for deliberations to be made for international standards that are similar all over the world.

If you are a member of the public, do give your input and see how much your opinion matters. If you want more information on slip resistance test standards, kindly do give us a call, and our team will be ready to explain them to you, and why they are very important to public health and safety.

Pendulum UK

Understanding slip resistance test

People have heard of slip resistance testing, but they know very little about it. Many just know that it is a test that is done to check how slippery a floor is, but do they really know why this test is so important? Here you will get a better understanding of what slip resistance testing is and why it is very important.

Simply put

IN simple terms, slip resistance testing is the science of testing the coefficient of friction, or the resistance to slippage. The test is done on floors in various environments. Testing can be done in the lab or can be done on site.

Why it is important

This is a test that is important to people who own or manage buildings, especially if there has been an incident of a fall, or a near-fall. The owners are liable if the floor is found to be slippery and face litigation costs that can be astronomically high.

The other reason why a test is desired is because the falls can cause permanent damage to the victim. Compensation or no compensation, it is important that everyone who comes into a premise is safe at all times, so the owners have to make sure that their floors are safe at all times.

Methods of slip resistance testing

  • There are several methods of undertaking slip resistance testing and the most preferred are those that are done at the site. This is because they represent the real factors that affect the floor at that time. The Tortus test is used to test the floor when dry and involves the use of a slow machine with a rubber bottom which measures the friction of the dry floor.
  • The wet Pendulum test is used to test the floor when wet, where water is sprayed on a floor and the pendulum shoved across the floor. The boot will move the pendulum and give a reading on the friction of the floor.
  • The two methods above are done on the site, but there are also lab tests which are used to test flooring materials before they are installed. These are not very common to the public, since they are carried out mainly in the production phase of the design and manufacture of the flooring material. Nevertheless, the lab tests are also very important.

Knowing how to choose a slip resistance testing company is just as important as knowing what slip resistance is all about. The company you choose must be accredited by an accreditation organization. This will prove that they have met all national and government standards when it comes to testing floors for slipperiness.

You need to know about slip testing, its importance and also how to get a company that will do the job, and do it right. Call us now and we shall be happy to give you more information on slip resistance testing, its importance and then let us do the test for you.

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.

Laboratory slip testing to HSE and BS / EN Standards

Here at Surface Performance Ltd we have a fully climate controlled (temperature & humidity) state of the art slip testing laboratory. Laboratory pendulum slip testing is undertaken by our qualified technicians to varying standards such as; HSE slip resistance testing, BS EN 13036-4 (road and airfield surface characteristics), sports governing body slip testing standards and many more.

All of our slip testing equipment is fully calibrated and maintained to the highest standards to ensure that we deliver a fully comprehensive and professional pendulum slip testing laboratory service.

 

We also carry out pendulum slip testing on site throughout The UK. Our slip test head office is located in London, however we have qualified technicians located throughout the country offering a competitive on site slip testing service.

 

Below is a photograph of our slip testing laboratory based in London.

Slip resistance testing of a flooring product in the Surface Performance Ltd laboratory.

Slip resistance testing of a flooring product in the Surface Performance Ltd laboratory.

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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.