Slip Check just became the first Sydney slip resistance testing facility to achieve accreditation by the National Association of Testing Authorities (NATA) to perform slip resistance testing to the wet barefoot ramp test. The barefoot ramp slip test is listed as Appendix C of the Australian Standard, AS 4586-2013 Slip Resistance Classification of Pedestrian Surface Materials.
NATA is the national accreditation body which certifies laboratories within Australia to ensure that they are technically competent and that the lab conforms to the international standards for testing and calibrations. When obtaining slip resistance tests to Australian standards, please ensure that the laboratory you engage for testing has the NATA emblem to provide confidence in the documented slip ratings.
The wet barefoot ramp test is a method to assess the slip resistance, or frictional characteristics of floor surfaces in areas that are wet with water and where people will likely be barefoot. This slip test is best used to assess the friction of swimming pool surrounds, showers, bathrooms, hydrotherapy pools, change rooms and the like.
For more information on the specific slip ratings required in wet barefoot areas, please obtain a copy of Standards Australia HB 198 Guide to the Specification and Testing of Slip Resistance of Pedestrian Surfaces. A copy of HB 198 can be obtained from SAI Global, the publisher of Australian Standards.
The floor surface is tested by two people who walk up and down a sample of the test panel, and whilst doing so, the test panel is inclined to an increasing angle until the walker slips on the surface. This test is conducted a number of times with two people, where the average of the angles are then calculated. From this angle the surface may achieve an A, B or C slip rating. If the surface does not achieve a minimum of 12 degrees, then there is not slip rating provided to the floor surface.
While the testing facility is based in Sydney, Safe Environments Clients in Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth, Adelaide and Hobart, flooring merchants can send samples to the Sydney laboratory to obtain the wet barefoot slip ratings. The test can be conducted on all types of floor surfaces including but not limited to: stone, vinyl, ceramic tiles, timber, polymer composites, glass mosaics and floor coating systems, bricks, pavers and concrete.
While the testing cannot be undertaken on site, samples of materials can be sent in for analysis. In large building disputes the floor surface may even be removed to be tested to determine the slip rating after the surface has been installed to determine changes in the slip resistance after installation and cleaning.
Should you require a surface to obtain a wet barefoot slip test, please contact the Slip Check team at Safe Environments to discuss how we can assist in providing reliable slip ratings for your floor surface .
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.