Slip resistance tests 'more important than ever'
Ensuring that floor workspace and general traffic areas comply with the recent changes in Safety Standards is critical, according to slip resistance testing services provider Test Slip Australia.
Your investment in slip resistance information indicates your awareness of duty of care as an employer, owner, manager or occupier, to provide a safe working environment and safe access for visitors to your premises.
The WorkCover Authority of NSW urges businesses to prevent slips, trips and falls. They are among the most common causes of workplace injuries and deaths. More than 71,000 workers were injured and 24 killed over the last three years.
The most significant change is the Wet Pendulum Test Method that incorporates an additional requirement for preparing the rubber slider test feet with 3 micron lapping film.
Research has shown that when a rubber slider is prepared this way, it is a closer representation of a worn and polished heel and may best reflect the slip resistance attributable to the contact of two smooth surfaces under wet conditions.
This process may provide a lower slip resistance value of floor surfaces such as glazed/polished tiles, sealed terrazzo, sealed/polished natural stone, polished timber, vinyl, etc.
The changes to the new Wet Pendulum Test Method will potentially change the classification of some flooring products, according to Clark Ahearn, director at Test Slip Australia, an Advanced Technology Testing & Research partner.
The new classification system has been introduced to clearly identify which revision of the Standard it was tested to, AS/NZS 4586-2004 or AS4586-2013. The 2004 version used V,W,X,Y or Z Classifications which are no longer used. Wet Pendulum Test in according to the AS 4586 - 2013 are now recorded as a "P" classification.
The Dry Floor Friction Test Method classification has also changed in AS-2013. The 2004 version is no longer used. There is now a "D" Classification.