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    Understanding Slip Resistance Ratings and Legislation

    February, 2024

    Whether it’s a busy office lobby or a hospital corridor, ensuring that the flooring provides adequate slip resistance is crucial to preventing accidents and maintaining a secure environment for employees and visitors alike. In this article, we will look into the essential aspects of slip resistance ratings and guidelines for commercial flooring projects, including the types of slip tests and relevant UK government legislation. The article aims to help DURAFLOR customers with understanding slip resistance ratings and the legislation surrounding it.

    Types of Slip Resistance Ratings

    When it comes to understanding slip resistance evaluations, various methods and standards are utilised to measure the frictional properties of flooring surfaces. One commonly used test is the Ramp Test. This includes the floor covering being coated in oil and placed on an angled ramp and the test operator walking on the flooring, with the angle of the ramp increasing until the operator slips. This is then recorded as an R value, from R9 to R13. These classifications are defined as follows:

    • R9: Lowest slip resistance – best used in dry indoor areas such as hallways, living rooms, bedrooms and studies.
    • R10: Light slip resistance – best used in indoor/outdoor areas where minimal moisture will remain on the surface such as kitchens, food courts, commercial shopping areas.
    • R11:  Intermediate slip resistance – best used in in areas subject to heavy wetting such as wet rooms, exposed balconies, patios.
    • R12: Strong slip resistance – best used in areas subject to heavy weathering and wetting such as swimming pool surrounds, factory production lines, and vehicle inspection pits.
    • R13: Strongest slip resistance – best used in areas subject to heavy wetting combined with other containments, steps or ramps such as commercial swimming pools, spa surrounds, factories, vehicle inspection pits and workshops.

    Similar to the Ramp Test, is the Pendulum Test, also known as the British Pendulum Test. This is a widely used method for measuring the slip resistance of flooring surfaces across various industries. It involves a pendulum apparatus with a rubber slider that simulates a slipping foot’s motion. The pendulum is released, and as it swings across the flooring, the friction generates a Pendulum Test Value (PTV) or British Pendulum Number (BPN), indicating slip resistance. This test is reliable, simple, and assesses both dry and wet conditions, making it valuable for evaluating safety in diverse environments and recognised by industry standards organisations and regulatory bodies. A higher score indicates better slip resistance, meaning the surface is less likely to cause slips and falls.

    UK Government Legislation

    In the United Kingdom, the significance of slip safety in commercial settings is emphasised by legislation and regulations aimed at minimising slip and trip hazards. One crucial piece of legislation is the Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992. Under these regulations, employers are obliged to maintain workplace floors in a safe condition and ensure they are free from obstructions or hazards that could cause slips, trips, or falls.

    Furthermore, the UK government has established guidelines and standards for slip resistance in specific industries. For example, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) provides guidance on slip risk assessments and recommends minimum slip resistance values for different environments. These guidelines assist businesses in identifying and mitigating slip hazards effectively, promoting a safer working environment for employees and visitors.

    Choosing Slip-resistant Flooring

    When selecting flooring materials for commercial projects, contractors must consider factors beyond aesthetics and durability. Opting for slip-resistant flooring solutions can significantly reduce the risk of accidents and potential liability issues. At DURAFLOR, we offer a range of high-quality flooring products that meet or exceed industry standards for slip resistance, providing peace of mind to contractors and their clients. Our most popular safety flooring solution is our Cienna Collection. This is because it perfectly balances aesthetic and safety performance.


    In summary, understanding slip resistance in the flooring industry is vital for establishing safe environments. Contractors need to grasp slip resistance ratings, such as those derived from the Ramp and Pendulum tests, to make well-informed choices. UK government legislation, exemplified by the Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992, underscores the requirement for safe workplace conditions, thereby accentuating the significance of slip-resistant flooring solutions.

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