When selecting a floor surface consideration of the slip resistance is one of the most important factors. Slip resistance is the propensity for the specified floor surface in combination with the wearers shoe or barefoot and the surface conditions to resist the foot from sliding. The slip resistance can change over time as wearing, cleaning and external environmental conditions can alter the measured result. A specifier needs to consider many different factors when selecting an appropriate floor, these include:-
1. Internal or external use
2. Steps and ramps
4. Human behaviour
7. Project use
8. Traffic levels
9. Wet or dry conditions
10. Roughness of the surface
14. Other surface interfaces
A risk assessment by careful examination of the environment in which the tiles are being specified should be carried out to reduce/eliminate potential issues, these can include:-
1. Prevention of surface contamination
2. Change contaminants for one with reduced slip potential
3. Implementing cleaning procedures
4. The introduction of control measures i.e. wearing appropriate footwear
The pendulum CoF test (also known as the portable skid resistance tester, the British pendulum, and the TRRL pendulum) is the subject of a British Standard, BS 7976: Parts 13, 2002.2. This instrument, although often used in its current form to assess the skid resistance of roads, was originally designed to simulate the action of a slipping foot. The method is based on a swinging, imitation heel (using a standardised rubber soling sample), which sweeps over a set area of flooring in a controlled manner. The slipperiness of the flooring has a direct and measurable effect on the pendulum test value (PTV) given (previously known as the Slip Resistance Value).
The UKSRG Ramp Test
The UKSRG ramp test is designed to simulate the conditions commonly encountered in typical workplace slip accidents. Clean water is used as the contaminant and footwear with a standardised soling material is used, although barefoot testing may also be undertaken. The test method involves using test subjects who walk forwards and backwards over a contaminated flooring sample. The inclination of the sample is increased gradually until the test subject slips. The average angle of inclination at which slip occurs is used to calculate the CoF of the flooring.
Wet Ramp Test (Din 51097) Wet Barefoot Areas In dry areas of use, the bare foot provides adequate slip-resistance with the surface. Where conditions of contamination are likely, i.e. wet areas/liquid contaminants, the slip resistance level becomes more crucial. The grid shows the DIN 51097 Classification which indicates the relevant class of Anti-Slip finish to use in the appropriate areas.
The specifier should also consider how the tiles are to be cleaned and maintained once installed. This is as important as specifying the correct tiles in the correct areas. An improper cleaning regime will result in failure of the anti-slip properties of the specified tile. Showering for example results in numerous different lotions and soaps as well as body fats, which can, in time, alter the tiles anti-slip performance. Equally on-site cleaning after installation and grouting can render the anti-slip ineffective if the correct cleaning off has not taken place.’ Source; Nichols & Clarke.