RR534 - A study of the slip characteristics of metal flooring materials

The work detailed in this report was carried out at the request of Mr Stephen Taylor (Construction Division Technology Unit, HSE) in line with the HSE strategy to reduce the incidence of slip and trip accidents.

The aim of the current study was to assess the slip resistance of a wide range of industrial flooring materials, both profiled and open-grid. This type of industrial flooring has traditionally been widely used in manufacturing environments where the likelihood of gross contamination is high. In recent years there has been a dramatic increase in the amount of certain types of industrial floors that have been installed in commercial premises in the retail and hospitality sectors, as designers currently consider these types of industrial finishes to be fashionable.

Unfortunately, little is understood about the slip characteristics of these floors, although appreciable anecdotal evidence exists which suggests that this type of flooring can present a high slip potential in contaminated conditions.

Furthermore, the slipperiness of profiled and open-grid walkway surfaces is difficult (although not impracticable) to assess with the test methods currently recognised by HSL/HSE. The current study aims to quantify the slip resistance of industrial profiled metal flooring, with a view to the incorporation of the information generated into planned British Standards.

The floor surfaces studied were assessed using the following test methods:

This report and the work it describes were funded by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). Its contents, including any opinions and/or conclusions expressed, are those of the authors alone and do not necessarily reflect HSE policy.

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Updated 2022-05-10