Slip resistance is crucial for health and safety and can make the difference between operations that run with efficiency, and those beset by delays and risks. Here’s everything you need to know about keeping your workplace moving.

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What Is Slip Resistance?

All flooring has an R-Rating that determines its slip resistance. Most industrial and commercial flooring is rated between R-9 and R-13, with R-9 being the lowest acceptable slip level. A floor with an R-9 rating will be slippery when contaminated with substances such as water, grease, or oil, whereas an R-13 floor will have a much rougher, more abrasive surface. Think of the difference between the smoothness of a supermarket floor compared to the edges of a swimming pool, and the difference in slipperiness is obvious.

Why Does Slip Resistance Matter?

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) reports that more than a third of serious injuries are caused by slips. These account for 20% of injuries to employees requiring three days or more off work and are therefore a major contributor to reduced efficiency and productivity. Compensation claims for slips are commonplace, representing one of the most familiar accident complaints.

What Affects Slip Resistance?

The most common variable affecting slip resistance is contamination. Contamination can be in the form of cleaning products, leaks from refrigeration units, spills from vats and pipes, or rainwater. Chemicals are a particular problem. Over time, repeated exposure to corrosive chemicals can erode the integrity of the flooring, reducing the overall quality of the surface, and therefore its slip resistance. A resin floor, therefore, needs to be regularly tested to ensure the integrity of its R-Rating.

How Slip-Resistant Is a Resin Floor?

Resin floors can be treated to create specific slip resistant materials. The type of treatment often depends upon the use to which the floor is put, and getting it right requires considerable expertise. For instance, the HSE explains that pharmaceutical and hospital settings demand floors with very smooth surfaces that can be cleaned to an exemplary hygiene level. However, they also require an R-Rating that enables them to remain safe when wet. Different types of finish can be used to achieve the delicate balance. The same is true of any setting, including warehouses, storage facilities, and carparks.

How Is Slip Resistance Tested?

There are several ways of testing slip resistance, known collectively as Coefficient of Friction (CoF) testing. The HSE recommends a test called the Pendulum Test, which mimics the movement of a heel on the floor. Another, newer approach is the Slip Alert, which is designed to mimic the weight and trajectory of a genuine slip. For maximum accuracy, the two approaches should be used in tandem, as this gives a comprehensive picture.

Next Steps

At Central Flooring, we are specialists in designing, maintaining, and guaranteeing the slip resistance of resin flooring. We also offer accurate testing services to enable full HSE compliance. For more information, please get in touch by phone or email.

 

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