Ben Powers – Munro Instruments Ltd
Who are you?
My name is Ben Powers and I manage the slip resistance testing service arm of Munro Instruments Ltd. I’m also responsible for the quality management of Munro’s UKAS accredited schedule which includes testing with and calibration of the Pendulum.
What is your experience?
I have been focussed exclusively on slips and slip resistance for over 15 years, after starting my career at SATRA as a floorcoverings technician in 2007. In 2009 I set up a small consultancy, Grip Potential Ltd, and provided slip risk assessment services through this company, for a wide range of clients and in a wide range of environments, across the UK, for ten years. In 2018 I set up Grip Consulting to better serve my more frequent expert witness activities. Late in 2019 Munro bought the businesses and I moved with them to continue to provide the same slip risk assessment focus at Munro. In 2021 Munro achieved UKAS accreditation for testing and calibration activities.
My focus on practical assessment and guidance on matters of slip resistance and slip risk is unusual and has provided a good basis for expert witness works. Whilst it is rare for me to attend court as most cases will settle before then, I have given evidence at the High Court, and continue to provide expert witness services for slipping cases on a regular basis.
What does your company do?
Munro Instruments is probably best described as a precision engineering company. The business features an eclectic range of activities, with engineering being a common theme. We manufacture, service and calibrate numerous instruments, from Pendulum skid testers, through high quality metrology equipment, sensitive air quality monitoring equipment, to anaerobic test chambers, to a vast range of laboratory equipment supplied by our parent company MRC.
In addition to manufacturing, Munro offers a wide range of services to aid in slip resistance testing, including sale of the Pendulum device, testing spares and consumables, repairs and servicing, UKAS accredited calibration, training, in house and/or on-site slip testing, expert witness services. I am to support all of these services with expert impartial advice to encourage best practice operation and the highest quality results.
Why are you a UKSRG member?
As someone who has spent his entire career focussed on slips, if there is a trade body for me then the UKSRG is surely it. Since joining the Group proper in 2012 I have been consistently impressed with how its members, coming from competing businesses and with competing interests, views and ideas, have worked together to produce high quality guidance and promote best working practice in an essentially unregulated industry.
Whilst the Group’s aims are noble I, selfishly, also enjoy meeting with fellow industry professionals, learning from their experiences and challenging or being challenged on established views in an emerging science. I try to be as active as possible on various sub-committees in order to help further the Group’s aims.
What advice and expertise can you offer?
Our service arm can offer expert impartial UKAS accredited slip risk assessment, on test samples in house, as part of a risk assessment on-site, or for lawyers/insurers in a slip and fall case.
Our manufacturing arm can support would-be operators with the purchase and use of your own test equipment to best practice (UKSRG Guidelines). We provide Pendulum operators with support, service, repair and UKAS calibration of their devices, and provide all necessary consumables and accessories.
Personally, I’m always happy to talk about slips and provide help and advice as and where I can.
Ben Powers 06/2023
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