Micro-roughness measurements and the implications in slip testing

Not many people understand the terms micro-roughness for the floor and how it affects the slippery nature of the surface. Is it possible to use this factor as an indicator of the slip resistance of the floor? According to several experts, the roughness measurement of a floor should not be used for slip testing by itself.

Some years ago, after people started knowing that wet flooring would sometimes give lower slip resistance values with some instruments and not others, the concept of micro-roughness was born. It was thought that this alone would be a quick way of getting to know the slip resistance of a floor.

Guidelines were developed for the collection of data from slip testing professionals to see if micro-roughness would be a quick indicator of slip resistance. However, after the collection and review of the data, it was found that there was very little relationship between slip resistance and micro-roughness.

Those who support the use of micro-roughness, usually argue that there must be some relationship, so it is a good “indicator” of the slip resistance of the floor. This term “something about the floor” is not one that would be used by a slip resistance testing professional. These are words that are used by laymen.

Other tests to prove these claims were done, where the floor was artificially worn out and the slip resistance and micro-roughness were measured. There was absolutely no relationship between the two. It can therefore be said that micro-roughness should not be used to measure slip resistance. More research into this phenomenon should be carried out if there has to be light shed on it.

Micro-roughness cannot also be used to decide whether contaminants in the floor will make it more slippery or less. For example, if a floor is not properly cleaned, will it become more slippery or less? The one true way of assessing how slippery a floor will be is to just go ahead and measure the slip resistance. The most preferred method is the Pendulum Test, which is even used to determine court cases that involve slipping accidents.

However, when using the Pendulum, a trained operator is required in order to get the correct representation of the slip resistance of a floor. The pendulum is heavy and takes some time to set up and some say that it is cumbersome. However, when it comes to accuracy, this is the instrument that is most-reliable.

The above observation is not derogatory in any way. The Pendulum should even be adopted as the European Standard instrument to measure the slip resistance of a floor. You have now seen that measuring micro-roughness will not in any way help in assessing the slip resistance of a floor. Rely on actual sp resistance measurements to do so. Otherwise you may give the wrong advice and someone gets hurt in the process. You do not want to face a legal suit for using the wrong methods to determine slip resistance.

If you are a manufacturer, contractor, hotel manager, roadways agency or installer looking to carry out your due diligence and duty of care then please contact us for slip resistance assistance and support.

Slip Testing UK carried out slip testing, micro roughness testing, pendulum testing and skid resistance tests throughout England, Wales, Ireland and Scotland. Our engineers are fully qualified to undertake HSE slip resistance testing to ceramic flooring, wood decking, swimming pool surrounds, sports surfaces, playgrounds and restaurant floors.

Our technicians carry out floor slip testing in Leeds, Manchester, Bournemouth, Bristol and Bath. They can perform independent slip resistance and pendulum testing to any type of flooring and also cover all Scottish cities such as Edinburgh, Glasgow, Fife, Aberdeen (slip testing also throughout Aberdeenshire), Wick and Stirling. We have a strong client base for slip testing and pendulum resistance testing in Scotland, particularly with the highways contractors that require road slip tests.

***Slip Testing UK now offer a bath and shower slip testing service throughout The UK**** If you are a hotel or landlord and require a HSE pendulum slip test performed then please contact Slip Testing UK or Surface Performance UK. Thousands of people per year slip and incur injuries as a result of non compliant slip resistance bath tubs. If you require a bath tub or shower area to be slip pendulum tested then please contact us