The NSW Team at FloorSlipTest.com.au regularly undertakes floor slip resistance testing to the NSW Hunter region including the Newcastle, Maitland and Raymond Terrace areas.
Shopping centres are notorious for slip and fall incidents which in many cases is not primarily due to the slip resistance of the floor surface. In many instances the cause for slip and falls are from stepping on foreign objects and the like.
When assessing the dry slip test results of pedestrian surfaces, testing is more appropriately conducted in the as found condition. If there is a significantly low slip test result then the surface is generally wiped free of any soiling material that may reside on the floor and tested again. In many circumstances this will result in an increase in the frictional values of the surface. In these cases a review of the cleaning system may be necessary and to revise the frequency and type of cleaning conducted.
Slip Check have reviewed a number of slip test reports conducted at Newcastle shopping centres where the surface has been cleaned before testing. This does not reflect accurately the condition of the surface that people are walking on. In many instances this is due to the cleaning company being the ‘Person Conducting a Business or Undertaking’ who engaged the floor slip tester. Clearly this can be a conflict at times. It is important to review test reports and ensure that the test is reporting accurately the intent of the testing.
The view of Slip Check is for wet slip resistance testing be conducted as well for people to understand the risk associated when the surface may become wet at times If the wet pendulum slip test has not been conducted, then one should assume that the surface will be slippery in wet conditions.
Other factors of late includes a change in slip testing standards, whereby there may be a change in the wet pendulum result due to the slider conditioning material, in which case polished surfaces may appear to be critically low. This low reading however needs to be placed in a risk management context. This is why we recommend testing to both AS 4663-2013 and AS 4663-2004 and determine whether these is an increase in slip and falls.
If you are in the NSW Hunter region including Newcastle, Maitland and Raymond Terrace areas and require slip resistance testing. Please contact us for further information about slip testing.
Author: Carl Strautins
As a principle at Safe Environments, Carl Strautins first started his career at CSIRO conducting research in slip resistance and developed the accelerated wear slip resistance test. He holds a degree in materials science, masters in occupational health and safety and a masters in science in occupational hygiene, Carl provides guidance to industry to minimise the risk of slip and fall incidents. He is engaged on a regular basis to provide expert opinion for disputes and legal proceedings.