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Safe Environments assist flooring manufacturers with slip resistance tests

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article image Instrument for slip resistance test

Safe Environments  assist flooring manufacturers in selecting the right slip resistance tests on their products to ensure that they meet relevant requirements for Building Codes, OHS Legislation and Australian Standards.

The Australian slip resistance test methods within AS/NZS 4586, Slip resistance classification of pedestrian surface materials, enable the selection of surfaces and include:

  • Wet pendulum slip resistance test
  • Dry floor friction slip resistance test
  • Wet barefoot ramp slip resistance test
  • Oil wet ramp slip resistance test
Tribometers (slip resistance test meters) measure the friction of the interacting surfaces and the liquid medium within the system. It seems sensible that slip resistance tests should be used to simulate the intended conditions for normal usage in terms of the contaminant likely to be present and the footwear intended to be worn. For example, the wet pendulum slip resistance test using water and a flat rubber slider is more appropriate for most public common areas, where the most likely contaminant is water and many people will be wearing shoes that may have a hard soling compound and a worn tread pattern.

The oil wet ramp slip resistance test (R Classification), which uses safety boots with large volumetric tread patterns and high viscosity motor oil, seems to be of little relevance for normal conditions (that the general public will normally encounter). The oil wet ramp slip resistance test is more suitable for commercial kitchens and industrial areas, where people will be using specialised shoes and viscous contaminants are likely to be encountered.

Only the pendulum and Dry FFT slip resistance tests can confirm the onsite performance (unless the surface is removed and sent to the laboratory). The ramp slip resistance tests can only be used on floor surfaces pre installation and cannot be used to conduct onsite audits. Thus, the use of ramp slip resistance tests appear to be redundant as onsite tests cannot confirm the in service slip resistance.

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