Different states in Australia have their own local laws, building codes, permits and the like– does that mean that each state also has its own slip testing standards?
While it may seem logical for each state to have its own slip testing standards, when it comes down to it, such variation is highly unnecessary.
Why Just One Standard?
Currently, slip resistance testing of new floor surfaces is guided by AS 4586:2013 – Slip resistance classification of new pedestrian surface materials (Australia/New Zealand). This standard applies to the testing of new flooring materials and pedestrian surfaces of new buildings everywhere in Australia.
There are several reasons for the establishment of this one standard, and it’s not just for the convenience of all those involved in building construction.
- It ensures that surface construction materials do not vary in slip resistance rating from state to state, but only in terms of their individual application. A ceramic tile used in Melbourne will have the same level of slip resistance even if it is used in Perth. It’s slip resistance level will only vary depending upon other factors, such as the level of incline on which the tile is placed, and if it is constantly exposed to moisture or other contaminants. Such standardisation simplifies the use of the same surface material from one state to another. It also ensures that no mishaps or miscalculations in slip resistance rating occur when using the same surface material in different states.
- Because most conditions affecting slip resistance are the same in every state, there is no need for differences in slip testing standards for every state. In other countries where they are more prone to earthquakes or have varied topographies, differences in local building codes and the like are required. Such is not the case with slip resistance testing in Australia.
- Similarly, the devices used in measuring slip resistance are used in every state, and they function exactly the same in every state. Let us take for example a pendulum slip resistance tester. A pendulum in Adelaide will work just as well and in the same manner as a pendulum in Perth, or a pendulum in Sydney, or a pendulum in Melbourne. No adjustments are necessary to account for any differences in measurement or test methods in any specific state in Australia.
So How Does Slip Testing Vary?
While slip resistance remains the same in every state, it does vary in other ways. The standards of measurement for slip resistance varies depending on the type of surface being tested: we have different standards and methods of measurement for dry surfaces and wet ones. We also have a wet barefoot test and oil-wet test. There are also different standards set for different floor locations. Ramps, external walkways, swimming pools, access areas– all these have different set Australian standards for slip resistance.
If you’d like to know more about the various slip resistance standards in Australia, or require the assistance of professional slip testers for your building requirements, get in touch with Safe Environments today. We offer reliable slip resistance testing following Australian standards with NATA-accredited slip ratings.