The UK’s independent authority on slip resistance

What is BS 7976 Pendulum floor slip testing?

BS 7976 describes the specification, testing and calibration of the Pendulum floor slip test device. BS 7976-2 is widely recognised as the most accurate floor slip test method, recommended by the UK HSE and the UK Slip Resistance Group and used regularly in slip and fall injury cases.

Test equipment is expensive and the test requires an experienced operator to produce reliable results. The test sees a weighted foot swing from a horizontal position to strike the floor surface over a standardised distance and continue the swing producing a Pendulum Test Value with a needle on the adjacent scale. The greater the slip resistance of the floor, the more the foot is slowed and the lower the height of the needle on the scale. Floors with a low slip resistance will see the foot reach almost horizontal on the overswing, indicating a low PTV and a high risk of slipping.

The method benefits from an extensive history of correlation to real slips on varied floor types and considerable development of the test method to increase accuracy and reproducibility of results. Whilst newer test methods can boast quicker, easier (and so cheaper) assessment of floors, they cannot compete with the significant history and development of the BS 7976-2 Pendulum method. As such the BS 7976-2 Pendulum is the only method recommended for slip and fall legal proceedings.

We are of the firm opinion that if floor slip testing will not stand up to the scrutiny of a court then there is no benefit in it, so all of our assessments follow broadly the same method as those compiled for the court in slip and fall personal injury cases.

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