How is safety flooring measured for slip-resistance?

As well as being hard-wearing and properly fitted, one of the most important features of any safety flooring is its slip-resistance. A floor can be made slippery by spillages or by people walking across it in wet shoes, but some materials are naturally unsafe to be used as flooring and can lead to falls even when dry.

Why use safety flooring?

A good non-slip floor is essential to protect any business against personal injury claims that might otherwise be made by members of the public or employees. As well as ensuring that you won’t inadvertently be responsible for someone being injured, having a safe floor will satisfy any required risk assessments and will help protect you from prosecution by the Health and Safety Executive. Slips at work also lead to employees taking time off work, resulting in considerable costs and reduced productivity.

FLR Group safety flooring is tried and tested

We use safety flooring from trusted manufacturers. It has been properly measured for slip-resistance, which is measured and graded according to its effectiveness. The most slip-resistant flooring materials will protect against slips for the lifetime of the floor. Poorly chosen flooring materials may offer no slip-resistance or may have a thin anti-slip coating that will become hazardous over time with wear and tear.

We only use flooring that is proven to have sustained slip resistance of at least TRRL≥36, which is recommended by the Health and Safety Executive. The TRRL Pendulum Test uses a pendulum motion to sweep a dummy heel across fitted flooring to imitate a motion of a foot slipping on a wet floor. If the material scores ≥36, it is deemed ‘low risk’ and the flooring that we use has been measured as exceeding that rating, meaning that it carries an even lower risk of slips.

That test is combined with another, using a surface microroughness meter, which uses a needle traced across various parts of a sample piece of flooring to calculate the microroughness of the surface: anything over 20 microns is considered low risk.

A third test is the ramp test. This is, as it sounds, a test that involves the flooring material being put on a ramp, which is then adjusted to different angles; the flooring is then coated with oil. The test operator walks on the flooring and notes the angle at which the operator slips. This is recorded in R values, from R9 to R13. R9 is the score given to floors that are least slip-resistant. To be sure that your floor is truly slip-resistant, you must check that it not only has an R-rating of at least R10 but also that it has a TRRL score of ≥36.

A further test that our flooring undergoes uses the SATRA Pedatron Test Machine, which measures the slip-resistance of a floor over the course of one million steps.

Here at FLR Group, we ensure that our flooring meets all of these minimum requirements. With our flooring, you can be confident of meeting your duty of care to your employees, customers and members of the public. Given that a high percentage of accidental injuries are caused by slips, good quality safety flooring that is compliant with Health and Safety Executive requirements is a solid investment.