RR653: Novel slip characteristics of conglomerate tiles

This study found that the slip potential of many conglomerate stone floor tiles changed after comparatively little wear. Decreases of up to 30% in the measured slip resistance of floor surfaces in both dry and water-wet conditions were observed. Although this was a rapid change that tended to level out, it showed a difference between the ex-factory slip resistance and that of the installed floor. This could lead to duty holders having a false impression of the slip resistance of the floor under their management, potentially leading them to provide unsuitable control measures for the management of slip hazards.

The rapid change measured on the as-new samples suggests that ex-factory samples may give unsuitable slip test results, and in order for duty holders to make a truly informed decision about the anti-slip performance of conglomerate flooring they need to obtain pendulum data for the installed condition.

Wherever possible flooring specification should be based on data generated from long term workplace trials to give a realistic impression of the slip performance of the flooring in-situ, and after installation and wear.

A relatively small difference in the PTV of a wet floor can make a significant difference to the control measures required to properly manage the floor to prevent pedestrian slip accidents. A suitable monitoring programme should be considered in all situations.

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 2021-04-23