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January 2019

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

A clean bill of health

Altro Whiterock is often specified for commercial kitchens and for wet environments because it’s impervious, hygienic, easy to clean and looks great. When chosen for refurbishments, there’s a good chance that the wall sheet will be replacing tiles, which are prone to cracks and can harbour dirt in the grout. The good news is that there’s no need to remove the tiles – it’s fine to install Altro Whiterock over the top, in fact tiles can be better to install over than what might be underneath them.

Don’t worry about whether the tiles are glazed, unglazed, large, small, grout lines or no grout lines, it’s all fine. Just note that loose tiles need to be removed and replaced with comparable thickness plywood or other dry lining materials. If the tile is heavily contaminated or painted, it can be abraded with a diamond disc grinder.

When working in a commercial kitchen, downtime can be a major issue for the business or service using it so installing over tiles can save valuable time. There’s just one thing that can cause you to come unstuck – literally – when doing this, and it’s such a simple thing. Those tiles have to be clean!

Ditch the dirt

When I say clean, I mean scrupulously clean. There’s a good chance that kitchen tiles will have grease or food residue and in bathrooms, there’s shampoo, conditioner and yes, I have to say it, body fats. In some places it will be obvious – around the hob, near the plug hole but splatter means that any area could be contaminated. If the contaminants aren’t removed, the adhesive that has been spread on the wall sheet won’t stick to the tiles. The result of this is that, at some point, the wall sheet will come away. The telltale sign is a slight bulge in the sheet. If you take it off, you will see that it’s not an issue with the adhesive – it’s sticking to the sheet no problem - it hasn’t adhered properly to the tile.

A simple solution

Luckily, the cleaning doesn’t require any special equipment, in fact, domestic products work best - solvents tend to evaporate so quickly that they don’t have a chance to do the job. I recommend you clean a few times and rinse off the residue from the cleaning products between cleans. Clean methodically, in sections – I’ve noticed that the problem can be in the lower and higher parts of the wall, where you have to bend or stretch to clean. It doesn’t have to take long as long as it’s thorough.

So what if this has happened in your installation? If one panel is affected, it will be a straight replacement, if it goes across more than one, it’s obviously a bigger job – in both cases it’s disruptive to the end user and you have to deal with removing the adhesive in order to start again so avoiding the situation is best.

As always, please be aware of the health and safety procedures; carry out the right risk assessment, always use the correct personal protective equipment and ensure adequate ventilation when using adhesives and cleaning products.

If you need any guidance on this, or any other aspect of installing our walls sheets, please get in touch. You can also visit our website for guidance.

Until next time, Roger out.

Posted: 28/01/2019 20:00:00 by Saloni Robinson | with 0 comments