The HSE states that slips and trips are still one of the most frequent accidents in the workplace today causing 40% of all reported injuries. There are many factors that can contribute towards slips and trips such as floor material, contamination, footwear and even the working environment. To help prevent such accidents from occurring pendulum slip tests can be carried out on a variety of surfaces to ensure the flooring in your workplace, hospital or retail premises is safe and fit for purpose.
In this article we will explain everything you need to know about pendulum slip testing including its applications and how the test is carried out.
What Is Pendulum Slip Testing?
This Pendulum Test measures something called “dynamic coefficient of friction (CoF)” and is designed to reproduce the same characteristics that occur when a person slips on a contaminated floor.
The Pendulum is the preferred test method for assessing pedestrian slip risk in the United Kingdom. It is unique in its ability to replicate the action of a heel strike slipping on a slippery surface. Good correlation between Pendulum readings and the incidence of pedestrian slipping accidents has been observed since its inception in the 1940's.
When operated by a trained technician the results of a Pendulum Test can be used to accurately evaluate the slip risk potential of most flooring materials in clean and dry or contaminated conditions, including assessing the presence of any dry contamination e.g. saw dust.
Why Do My Floors Need Testing?
By law it is required that the flooring in a workplace is to be 'suitable, in good condition and free from obstructions. People must be able to move around safely'.
Pendulum testing is measured in Pendulum Test Values (PTV) or Slip Resistance Values (SRV). The HSE recommend that in order to be safe your flooring should measure 36 PTV or above on level surfaces. If you have an inclined floor or carry out particular activities such as lifting or running the PTV value will be recalculated as necessary.
How Is Pendulum Slip Testing Carried Out?
The pendulum test is designed to cause as little disruption to your premises as possible. The test itself only takes a short amount of time to carry out and is portable so can be used on-site whilst taking up minimal space. If possible, we carry out the test in 3 different areas of the floor material; where there is generally high footfall, where there is low footfall and finally where there is moderate footfall.
What Floor Materials Can Be Tested?
The pendulum test is the HSE's preferred method of slip testing as it is extremely versatile and is therefore able to test most flooring types found in commercial premises. The slider on the pendulum is changeable and so we can test the slip resistance of areas where pedestrians are likely to be barefoot such as swimming pools and changing rooms as well as those areas where footwear is predominantly worn.
If you would like any further help or advice on pendulum testing or would simply like to request a free quote then why not get in touch with our expert team today.