Do you own a business? If so, you are probably in need of pendulum friction testing for your floors. This is a type of slip resistance test that is crucial if you want to save yourself from costly lawsuits and wish to provide a safe environment for all your employees.

The pendulum test is an exclusive slip resistance test that is accepted by the UK courts in terms of slip accidents. With this method of testing, you will be able to gauge whether your floor is dangerous or safe, or if it requires slip coating application or an anti-slip treatment.

What is the pendulum friction test?

The pendulum friction test assesses and analyses the friction offered by a floor surface when it comes in contact with a foot. The test can measure slip potential of wet, dry and contaminated flooring. Business owners can avail the services of professionals to conduct on-site testing on the area or areas where they had a slip or send a sample to the experts.

How does the test work?

A pendulum friction test is conducted by a swinging arm that passes over an area of the floor. The pendulum test machine has a rubber slider at the end of the arm and this slider strikes and sweeps along the floor over a pre-decided distance. In case the arm is released without the touching the floor, the arm will swing from horizontal to horizontal, without any friction. But, once the arm strikes the floor, the arm is decelerated due to friction and it swings less far.

The pendulum test machine is simplistic, however, operators need to have formal training in order to operate it. Without proper training, accurate and reliable slip ratings cannot be obtained.

Why use this slip resistance test?

As aforementioned, the pendulum test is the only slip resistance test that the UK courts recognise. Also, this test is recommended by the Health & Safety Executive (HSE). It is the only test that is used in enforcement, as well as, prosecution. By making sure that you pass this test, you can prove to the authorities, lawyers and insurance companies that you are providing a safe floor environment. This test can be used for your protection in case you are taken to court for claims of slip accidents.

Are there any standard sliders?

There are 2 basic sliders, known as slider 55 and slider 96. Slider 55 represents barefoot, whereas, slider 96 is a representation of the pedestrians wearing footwear.

How is the pendulum test measured?

The pendulum’s arm has a pointer that shows a pendulum test value or PTV. There are 3 slip-potential categories – high (0 to 24), medium (25 to 35) and low (36+).

What does PTV mean?

The PTV refers to an approximate risk to slip accidents. For instance, a PTV of 19 will have an accident risk of one in two whilst a PTV of 36 will have an accident risk of 1 in about 1,000,000.

In several environments, a PTV of more than 26 in dry and wet conditions is considered to be the HSE benchmark. If your floor/floors do not achieve 36+, you might find yourself liable to enhanced accident risk, a hefty fine and poor claims defensibility under the sentencing guidelines of health & safety.

So, therefore, it is highly recommended that you carry out periodic pendulum friction test for your floor. Regular testing will make sure that the slip resistance of your floor is high on an ongoing basis. In the event that the slip resistance test deems your floor unsafe, the logical next step would be to get the floor/floors anti-slipped by using one of the varieties of non-slip coatings or the available anti-slip treatments. If you want more information, speak to a professional.