Meeting HSE safety requirements: What you need to know when buying non-slip coating.

Did you know that most floors and floor coatings are not made to prevent slips or falls? Your builder’s merchant or local trade hub may tell you they are, but without the floor specification sheet and slip test results, you can not guarantee that the floor will be fit for purpose.

Think of it this way. If you were buying a house, and were told by the estate agent that it had three bedrooms, a bathroom, and a large garden; you would still want proof before you brought it, probably by going to see it. It should be the same when buying flooring; ask them about the slip resistance specification and if they can prove the pendulum skid test results . You are not being pushy or awkward, you are just checking that it is everything that YOU think it is.

Also, always check the specification fully. Is it displaying the DIN ‘R’ Rating and DIN ‘ABC’ Rating? Does it clearly state the Coefficient of Friction, Pendulum or PTV Rating score? It is your responsibility to make sure that the floor coating or floor you buy is suitable for your needs.  Make sure that any flooring product that you buy has been independently slip tested by an accredited testing laboratory such as Surface Performance Ltd.

So what do you need to look out for?

  1. The DIN ‘R’ Rating. Making sure that the minimum requirement of R11 is met in a shod setting, or R12 or R13 if a slope.
  2. The DIN ‘ABC’ Rating. This should be ‘C’ in wet floor settings, like pools for instance.
  3. That the Pendulum Test Value (PTV) has a rating of 36 when wet, and remembering that when dry, all floors pass the PTV test, but that 90% of slip ups and falls happen when floors are wet.
  4. That the floor can pass a Floor Sample Pendulum test before it is laid.
  5. If it can pass a Pendulum Test once it is laid, and that the slip resistance probability meets HSE standards, which are BS7976-2 & BS 13036-4.

How to know when not to buy a particular flooring product?

Like most industries, there are always going to be fakes and misadvertised products for sale. Non-slip flooring and coatings are no different, but being able to spot when you may be being misled is the key.

Have a look and check that the flooring or coating will:

  • stay stuck down
  • meet all the HSE standards, ensuring that it will pass the Pendulum Test
  • look as it should after it has been applied
  • be acknowledged by your insurance company as the correct product to use
  • be eco-friendly and safe to use.

If you are looking for non-slip coatings that are insurance approved and that are guaranteed to pass the Pendulum Test, please let us know. We will be happy to point you in the right direction. We are a slip testing laboratory located in London and we test floors in Wales, Scotland & Wales.

Slip resistance: Important things you need to know.

This may shock you, but the same non-slip material that was laid just six months ago may NOW not pass the Pendulum Test. This is why floors need to be continuously assessed for their slip resistance values.

Many material type floors wear quickly, leaving employers and employees vulnerable to slip-ups and inquiry claims.

Make sure your floor or coating is going to be fit for purpose by using the floor ‘R’ and ‘ABC’ Rating systems. If the floor has a rating of R9 or R10, and in some cases R11, then there is a high chance of it failing the Pendulum Test. Aiming for R12 or R13 on slopes will help to guarantee that no one will slip in a shod setting.

So how can you make sure you are buying the correct floor or coating for purpose?

Well, by making sure that all floors are tested before they are laid, saving you thousands of pounds in the long run. If you need any help or advice concerning the Floor Sample Test or Ramp Test, please let us know, and we will be happy to help you.

Next, once laid, have your floors Pendulum tested straight away. This will ensure that the floors laid are as grippy and non-slip as the sample test suggested. We recommend this, as it is not unheard of for a manufacturer to have changed the materials or process when making slip resistance flooring or coating. Any changes can and will affect the slip resistance.

Also, have the floors frequently tested. Slip prevention is always recommended. Remember, though, that only a Pendulum Test will stand in a court of law, so having one done regularly is advised.

Then, if your flooring does fail, seek your insurance company’s advice. Which coatings do they recommend? We are happy to help guide you if needed, and suggest coatings that will bring your flooring back up to standard and pass the Pendulum Test.

And, displaying your Floor Pendulum Certificate gives everyone complete peace of mind. Conducting annual Pendulum Tests will provide you with proof that your flooring is safe, which helps to lower insurance premiums and deter any false claimants.

It is sad to say, but recently the National USA Floor Safety Institute found that the cost of false claims cost businesses millions, and that the UK is woefully following suit. Spending your money now will cost you less in the long run in claims.

Lastly, saying that your staff wears non-slip safety footwear is not enough. Like flooring, shoes ‘saying’ they are non-slip is different to actually BEING non-slip. Please do not be fooled. The HSE has done many tests on non-slip claiming shoes and found that the test is lenient, and in some cases only referred to the tread pattern, not to its slip resistant properties. In a court case, the HSE suspects that a claim would be awarded to the victim on these grounds.

To put it simply, we all love worn shoes because they are comfy, unfortunately, worn shoes are not always safe shoes.

Recommended Reading:

– ‘Assessment of slips safety information/ literature provided by flooring and footwear suppliers’


Are you looking for an independent slip testing laboratory in The UK? We offer impartial slip resistance and pendulum slip testing advice across England, Wales & Scotland. Just some of the places that we can carry out floor slip tests in The South East are ReadingSloughBracknell & Basingstoke. Surface Performance Ltd are The UK’s leading experts in the slip resistance values of all types of surfacing in CanterburyDover and Hastings. We offer free information on the slip testing requirements of floors in Windsor, Oxford and Hastings. Pendulum slip tests can be performed in Chelmsford, St Albans, Windsor, Chichester, Portsmouth and Tunbridge Wells. All of our test reports are fully compliant with HSE legislation for slip resistance testing and our slip testing technicians and experts are always fully qualified.

Please contact us for cheap slip testing prices throughout The UK.