FloorSlip Ltd – Head Office -
UK Specialists in H&S Approved Floor Pendulum Testing for Businesses and Expert Witness Services for Slip Injury Lawyers
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Maintaining Floor Safety for Employers, Managers and Architects specifying floors or refurbishing Existing Floor Surfaces
Aesthetics should NOT rule floor choice -
To prevent floor slips and trips and avoid future slip accidents and personal injury claims, employers, architects, and managers wishing to buy or specify flooring need to source suitable flooring products that are accompanied with technical specifications informing them of the floor slip resistance, the Floor R Ratings and ABC Ratings and how floor cleaning and maintenance should occur.
Too many shopping complexes and elite office blocks have beautiful shiny floors – but they are a floor slip accident waiting for a personal injury lawyer to happen. Plus the cost of making slippy floors non slip after floor laying can be very prohibitive and some floor coatings do not necessarily perform as advertised, particularly on hard granite or marble floors where adherence of anti slip coatings can be poor and peel in a short time.
The Floor Slip Test Coefficient of Friction is determined using the ‘Pendulum Test’ to BS 7976-
The Surface Roughness Testing is conducted using a portable floor tester such as the Surtronic Duo giving an average floor test surface roughness reading (The Rz Reading). The Floor Surface Roughness Test is particularly useful in monitoring changes in wear over time – for example, from new to 6 months or one year later.
*Note carefully – Surface Roughness Testing is NOT a true floor slip reading, it is only an indication of floor friction. Two different floor surfaces having the same Floor Roughness Testing readings can have different a different Coefficient of Resistance and floor slipperiness; the HSL (Government Health & Safety Laboratories) has determined this is particularly noticeable where wet floors are involved as 90% of Floor Slips occur on wet smooth flooring such as marble floors (known as ‘Terrazzo’). Read More on Floor Surface Roughness Tests
A floor test is conducted on a ramp set at varying inclined angles, the ramp testing providing different results as the ramp gets steeper; the steeper the ramp can be raised without heel slip then the better (higher) the Ramp Test Rating or ‘R Rating’. The Ramp Test is conducted to DIN 51130* results ranging from R9 or LEAST Floor Slip Resistance [Not R1] to R13, the MOST Slip Resistance**. The Ramp test to DIN 51130 is used to test wet floors, dry floors and contaminated flooring surfaces using a person wearing deeply treaded (cleated) safety footwear. Read More on Ramp Testing
Another Ramp Test (Performed to DIN 51097) but instead uses a persons bare feet to represent, for example, a pedestrian walking on a slippery swimming pool floor. The ratings are A, B and C where C is the steepest. Read More on Floor Ramp Testing
* DIN is the equivalent to British Standards in the UK. DIN = 'Deutsches Institut für Normung' or German Institute of Standardisation. It is a standard by which floor designers and architects must specify to in some EU countries to conform with building regulations and to apply early prevention of floor slip accident injury claims
** IMPORTANT NOTE -
The flooring suppliers’ information generally only relates to ‘as supplied’ floor products and can not be expected to take into account the following problems: -
If Wheelchair use is required -
Contaminants introduced during construction / floor laying process
Flooring contaminant encountered in daily use such as oil, blood, cooking fat, sawdust, talcum power
The degree or type of floor wear
The shoes that may be worn; slippery floor issues can be overcome to a large degree by legislating employees will wear non slip safety shoes (and in good condition); it may be more cost efficient to buy workers shoes than replace floors; this will not negate floor testing but will lower the floor slip risk potential. Obviously this solution is only viable for employees
Floor cleaning methods, frequency and consistency thereof and the floor cleaners used in the process
Changes in floor manufacturing process or constituent materials used -
* This may become a legal requirement in the future in order to meet future building regulations on floors and particularly for the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA)
Advice on the selection of flooring is given in CIRIA* book available to buy (From CIRIA)
‘Safer surfaces to walk on – Reducing the Risk of Slipping’ free to download
*Construction Industry Research and Information Association
A useful book for architects available is Designing For Accessibility
Consideration of floor types for architects and designers
Assessing the Slip Resistance of Flooring
Supermarket Floor Slip Experience
Floor coatings, from the perspective of floor testing, are typically used where an economical and swift solution has been required to make a floor non-
Epoxy Resin Coatings
Polyurethane floor coatings
Screed (Thin solution of concrete with no aggregate)
WATCO are a good source of information on coatings -
Anyone who’s ever decorated an internal wall, re-
Imagine though, you want to prepare a floor, which is hundreds of metres in size. On that floor will be people, vehicular traffic, customers, water from rain, snow and condensation, dust and dirt, fork trucks, spillages, grease and oil and other contaminants and all these factors have to be contended with. Concrete is also highly alkaline when laid and full of moisture for at least 4 weeks afterwards, but many coating ‘specialists’ will still coat a floor immediately after laying; the result of which is it will bubble and peel either from the alkali or the moisture.
So, it can be seen, that to prepare a floor that will last is a very difficult job. Floor coatings peel; are not applied evenly; soak up moisture; are applied too quickly and not left to dry between coats; and often products are time expired before they are even laid! And soon the result of all these aforementioned issues is a floor likely to have, at a minimum, patches of poor slip resistance and in a very short space of time.
Many coatings also dry rock hard and, even though they may be ‘PTV Safe’ at first, they will over time become ‘polished’ from footfall and traffic and patches of poor PTV will be the result.
The last issue is there are too many ‘non-
Link to Part M of the Building regulations 2004 -