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This week I had a job that highlights that there is not always going to be a set pendulum rating relating to what is considered a “safe” level of slip/skid resistance. I was testing the skid resistance of our national highways on the lower north coast with the pendulum skid resistance tester using the slider 55 (formerly known as TRL) material, this material is a softer rubber and better models vehicular skid resistance for rougher surface types than the slider 96 (Four S) material.

The aim of the skid resistance testing

The aim was not to achieve any pre-set values with the testing, alternatively the areas that were being tested were previously identified as risky areas through SCRIM testing and the pendulum was being used to establish simply that the treatment applied increases the friction between the slider material and the surface by a relatively significant amount, for information on scrim testing:

The job involved testing the skid resistance prior to treatment with the pendulum to establish the starting skid resistance of the length of road. A minimum of five locations was to be tested for each area being treated and for areas of road larger than 1500 square meters 1 location per each 300 m square were to be tested.

Increasing the skid resistance

Following the establishment of the initial skid resistance testing, the surface was shot blast to increase the skid resistance of the high risk length of road. Once the surface was shot blast the surface was again tested to identify the increase in skid resistance achieved and then a calculated percentage increase used to assess the effectiveness of the treatment until a time as to which the SCRIM testing is able to be conducted on the area.

This methodology can also be applied to slip resistance managements where pendulum testing may not necessarily be the most appropriate test to establish the slip resistance of an insitu surface. That is areas such as commercial kitchens and industrial workspaces where oil may be a likely contaminant. Regularly, pendulum testing shows relatively high pendulum readings on these surface areas despite people reporting incidents, near misses and generally felling unsafe underfoot. In these instances oil wet inclining platform testing would be the more appropriate test however due to method limitations this test cannot be conducted on an in-situ surface.

Need more information on skid resistance testing?

For more information or testing skid resistance for the roadway or cycleway that you have constructed or manage, please call our Sydney or Melbourne office so that we can assist you.

Author Martin Daniel

Martin Daniel

Martin holds a Bachelor of Science in Applied Chemistry from the University of Technology Sydney and a  Masters in Laboratory Quality Analysis and Management, Macquarie University.

Specialising in the measurement of health and safety testing to Australian Standards, Martin has developed skills in access and egress and hazardous materials. Martin is responsible for the accreditation of Safe Environments Laboratory to ISO 17025 - Testing and Calibrations and is signatory to the Mechanical Testing Facilities.