Your guide to the different slip resistance tests

Don't compromise on slip resistance

In order to reduce the number of accidents on our buses, we need to ensure that the floors used have a competent slip resistance rating. There are three commonly used tests for slip resistance, each different to the other and therefore, testing for different things. Two are commonly used: the ramp test and the pendulum test.

The ramp test

The ramp test (DIN 51130), measures the gradient at which a person slips on a flooring sample on a ramp. The flooring is contaminated with motor oil, and the person used in the test wears cleated work boots. The HSE warns that:

If this is not representative of the area where you wish to install the floor, the data will be misleading. Another common problem is interpreting the data produced. Each ‘R’ value contains a range of possible results making it difficult to ascertain how slippery a floor is.1


It is also important to consider that the ramp test can only be conducted on flooring prior to installation, so a ramp test cannot be used to measure sustained slip resistance or monitor how effective a cleaning regime is for maintaining slip resistance. So, while an R classification is a good indicator of a general value of the slip resistance of your chosen floor, to get a more accurate interpretation it is better to view these values alongside a coefficient of friction or a pendulum test value.

The pendulum test

The pendulum test is HSE’s preferred method of testing as it tests in the conditions where most slips happen, and also because it is portable. Being portable, this means that flooring in situ can be tested to measure sustained slip resistance and the effectiveness of the cleaning regime. The pendulum test is designed to replicate the point at which most slips arise – when the heel of a foot or shoe strikes the floor. It is routinely conducted with water as a contaminant but dry contaminants can also be used. A pendulum test value, or PTV, gives a more exact indication of the slip resistance of your floor, with a PTV of 36 or higher denoting a one in a million chance of a slip.

On all Altro flooring technical information, you will find both an R value and a PTV to describe slip resistance. This is because we’re proud that our flooring achieves such excellent safety accreditation and we want to be as open and honest with you as possible about the flooring you choose.

HSE, ‘The ramp test’ Watch Your Step Slips & Trips eLearning Package, February 2009.
HSE, ‘The pendulum test’ Watch Your Step Slips & Trips eLearning Package, February 2009.
Posted: 16/01/2019 08:00:00 by Heather Mussett | with 0 comments