Slip resistance in floors is a key and yet often forgotten requirement when it comes to flooring. Often the aesthetics of the flooring seem more important than the performance and safety of the flooring. When it comes to safety and flooring consider this:
Design and selection of flooring
Effective fall control starts with the selection of reasonably slip resistant floor materials. In the design stage of a project, slip classification of the floor surface is essential when being considered for a particular application. This enables design engineers, architects, importers and floor manufacturers to provide slip classification to comply with the performance requirements of the site. BS:7976/UKSLIP Group provides classification of new pedestrian surface materials in the dry and wet condition. Generally the slip resistance testing during the design and selection stage is conducted in our laboratory or at the manufactures/importers facility's.
Installation and inspection stage
After installation of the floor surface, in-situ (on-site) slip resistance testing can be carried out to provide information regarding the safe access and egress of a facility. Science Friction are experts in the Pendulum Test for flooring which is the only test that stands up in a court of law. On-site testing provides building inspectors and regulators with more accurate information on the actual slip resistance of the installed floor surface materials within a building/shop that pedestrians will actually be walking on. This is due to the fact that laboratory tests do not take into consideration the effects of grout, the gradient of the surface or changes from one material to another. As a result, it is always recommended to adopt in-situ slip resistance testing in Development Applications to better ascertain the actual slip resistance of the floor surface. This in-situ testing is carried out in accordance with BS; 7976/UK Slip Group, and the results provide a slip resistance measurement of the existing floor surface in the dry and wet condition.
One of the most important safe guards against slip and fall accidents is routine monitoring of the floor condition. General wear and cleaning processes (such as cutting back and sealing the floor) affect the slip resistance of a floor surface, therefore regular maintenance methods need to be specified. Over time, factors such as high pedestrian traffic, cleaning systems, applied coatings and patterns of wear will affect the slip resistance properties of the floor surface. Therefore, routine inspection and testing of the floor surface should be conducted at three monthly intervals as part of a regular maintenance program. This will allow the floor surface slip resistance characteristics to be monitored, and early identification will ensure that corrective action be taken to maintain a safe floor condition and reduce the risk of pedestrian slip and fall accidents.