During the handover stage of a refurbishment to a south west Sydney venue, slip testing identified that the ceramic tiles installed within the amenities did not meet the minimum slip resistance recommendations of Standards Australia HB 197.
To rectify the situation, the slip resistance of the surface was increased using an anti slip treatment. Global Safe technologies used an acid etching technique that allowed the slippery ceramic tiles to become functional and safe.
Slip testing was conducted to AS/NZS 4586 Slip resistance classification of pedestrian surface materials after the application of anti slip treatment. The anti slip treatment increased the slip resistance of the slippery ceramic tiles from a British Pendulum Number (BPN) of 22 (Pendulum Class Z) to a BPN of 49 (Pendulum Class W).
The anti slip treatment ensured that the slippery ceramic tiles exceeded the minimum slip resistance requirements of Pendulum Class X (BPN 35) for toilet facilities within offices and commercial buildings. The increase in slip resistance equates to a risk of slipping of less than 1 in 1 million.
Independent slip testing following the anti slip treatment provides evidence that the surface meets the Australian standards, thus minimising the risk of potential slip accidents.
The effect of anti slip treatments must be documented, as variations in slip resistance can occur due to the chemical resistance of the ceramic tiles, the strength of the anti slip treatment along with the length of time and number of anti slip applications.
Onsite slip testing by Safe Environments can identify potential slip hazards and provide advice on suitable anti slip treatments. Slip testing using the wet pendulum slip testing method and the dry floor friction slip testing method should be carried out to confirm that the effect of anti slip treatments meets the Australian slip resistance standards.