Which slip test method is most appropriate?
Ultimately there are very few scenarios where the BS 7976 Pendulum operated to the latest UKSRG Guidelines will not provide the most appropriate measure of slip resistance.
The BS 7976-2 Pendulum test is the preferred in situ test of both the UK Health and Safety Executive and the UK Slip Resistance Group, and is the test which will be commissioned by an investigating solicitor or forensic engineer in a slip and fall injury case. Given that the purpose of slip testing is ultimately to demonstrate a safe surface and duty of care it would be folly to use test methods other than those which would be conducted for the Court. Whilst the cost of slip testing is bound to influence decisions made, we are of the firm opinion that if tests conducted will not stand up to the scrutiny of a Court and opposing expert witness they are of next to no value.
Whilst we are aware of several alternative proprietary slip test methods, with various claims of accuracy and ease of use, we continue to employ the Pendulum for risk assessment and product specification in an identical manner to the assessments that we provide to the Court. We would urge you to do the same in order to provide a robust defence should the unfortunate occur.
There are instances where the BS 7976-2 Pendulum test cannot be conducted; steep slopes, heavily profiled floors, narrow stairs, and cushioned floors. Where the same floor is laid in adjacent areas more receptive to Pendulum testing we would normally conduct tests on this floor and tie the two floors together with measurement of the Rz surface roughness parameter.
Heavily profiled or cushioned floors are unlikely to pose any real slip risk, however a ramp test replicating the expected footwear and contamination of end use would likely provide a more accurate measure of slip resistance than a Pendulum test.
DIN 51130 and DIN 51097 may produce meaningful data for industrial and wet leisure environments respectively; however they cannot be conducted in situ, are not thought to be any more accurate than the Pendulum and are typically significantly more expensive than a Pendulum test.
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