Onsite slip testing has proved that slip resistance changes over time.
While slip testing results on new floor surfaces prior to installation indicates that the surface complies with HB 197 and the Building Code of Australia (BCA), the floor can become slippery in a short period of time. Onsite slip testing post installation has shown a drop of between 5-10 BPN when using testing to the wet pendulum method to AS 4586. If the slip resistance is marginal before installation, it is likely that slip testing post installation will identify a high risk situation.
Slip testing to AS 4586 does not take into account that the slip resistance can change.
Essentially no floor surface will ever be made available to the public in the condition that it was initial slip testing certificate may indicate. The drop in slip resistance can be attributed to foot traffic, cleaning, contamination and cleaning residues. Onsite slip testing has shown that the floor surface will drop in slip resistance the most within the first year of installation, with ongoing continual changes.
HB 197 recommends taking into account the wear characteristics of the floor.
The current Australian Standards for slip testing do not take into account the wearability or sustainability of floor surfaces. There is now demand for floor suppliers to provide slip testing reports and certification to show that their product will maintain a safe level of slip resistance. This is where accelerated wear slip testing has been developed to assess the likely changes in slip resistance.
Developments of the accelerated wear slip testing method
The current development of accelerated wear slip resistance testing methods was pioneered by Carl Strautins, Property Risk Consultant of Safe Environments . Accelerated wear slip testing uses an abrasive pad to finely polish the surface while wet pendulum slip testing is conducted on the surface after 100, 500, 1000 & 5000 cycles. The wet pendulum slip testing method is the same procedure as outlined in AS 4586 and AS 4663. The accelerated wear testing results are then tabulated and graphed for a visual representation. Further onsite slip testing is then compared to onsite slip testing data to assess the initial performance criteria for re evaluation.
Accelerated wear slip testing provides a transparent and accountable process to assess sustainable slip resistance
Accelerated wear slip testing provides more information to ensure that floor selection maintains the required slip resistance for longer.