· Wet pendulum slip resistance test (Appendix A)
This method tests the surface under water wet conditions and provides a classification of either V, W, X, Y or Z. This test method may also be applied insitu for existing surfaces under AS/NZS 4663:2004.
The minimum specimen size is five (5) tiles of a minimum of 15x15 cm
Five test options provide an assessment of the contribution of a pedestrian surface to the risk of slipping to assist in the specification of a surface material for most pedestrian applications. Unless the application of the surface can be controlled such as through written instruction, all test methods are the most prudent approach. In any case, at least one of Appendix A, C or D should be used for all external pedestrian surfaces and internal surfaces that have a reasonably foreseeable risk of the presence of wet substances such as water, grease and oil.
The ramp methods (Appendices C and D) are particularly suitable for gratings, heavily profiled surfaces and resilient surfaces. Such surfaces are primarily designed to provide drainage or entrapment of contaminant materials. Where the surface is generally wet and used in barefoot conditions, choose the wet barefoot ramp method (Appendix C). Typical locations are swimming pool surrounds, showers, wash rooms and change rooms.
A ramp method does not mean that the surface is necessarily used as a ramp. While this may be the case, the ramp method derives its name from the way in which the test is conducted: the new surface is applied to an inclining ramp while an operator traverses up and down the slowly inclining ramp. The angle at which the operator slips determines the slip resistance rating.
If the material is installed on a slope, slope correction factors must be applied. This can mean that an initial ramp classification of R9, may fail to meet a ramp classification insitu due to the slope of the surface on which the material is installed.
The wet pendulum and dry floor friction test methods (Appendices A and B) may not apply to heavily profiled surfaces.
ATTAR highly recommends that where a ramp test method is specified, a wet pendulum test (Appendix A) also be performed. A wet pendulum test offers the advantage of slip resistance determination (and risk) under a wider range of conditions and because the wet pendulum test can be applied to installed surfaces (ie. in situ), it provides a measure of the inevitable change in slip resistance over time, enabling the risk of slipping to be monitored.
While the measurement of slip resistance using wet methods is achieved with Appendices A, C and D, the inherent slip resistance value (uncontaminated surface) is achieved with the dry test (Appendix B) and is the only method suitable testing under dry conditions.
Appendix E provides a method for testing the displacement space of a pedestrian surface that has a severely profiled or structured surface. The method measures the capacity of a pedestrian surface to hold contaminants that would otherwise affect slip resistance. The displacement volume test method is a useful test alongside a ramp test where the surface is severely profiled or structured and designed to provide drainage or entrapment of contaminants.
There are two methods for determining slip resistance of pedestrian surfaces. Both methods are also suitable for the evaluation of sealers, polishes and etchants:
1. Wet Pendulum Method. Use for all external areas and those internal pedestrian surfaces where there is a likelihood of the surface being contaminated with any liquid either by rain, accidental spillage or ingress.
2. Dry Floor Friction Method. Use on surfaces that are subject to contamination by dust. Always use for internal surfaces and smooth external surfaces.
When administered by ATTAR, this method provides inherent slip resistance measurements and slip resistance measurement ‘as found’ to observe the contribution of dust and other solid contaminants to slip resistance measurements. When applied in this way, the method can indicate the effectiveness of a cleaning regime.
When in doubt about the selection of a suitable test method, ATTAR can provide recommendations based on either discussion or a site inspection.
ATTAR Technicians can make recommendations not only on the type of test that is appropriate, but also make recommendations on the selection of sites that should be tested. So that changes in the slip resistance can be observed over time to ensure your duty of care is maintained, ATTAR can make recommendations on test regularity.
Maintaining Duty of Care
Continuous monitoring of your pedestrian surface through regular testing will ensure the risk of slipping remains known and a responsible risk management plan is maintained. Regular monitoring involves slip resistance testing with either or both methods in AS/NZ 4663.
With time, a pedestrian surface will deteriorate and become more slippery. You may elect to replace or treat the surface rather than accept the increased risk of slipping. ATTAR’s floor safety services also include independent recommendations on appropriate solutions to either maintain or increase slip resistance properties.