Friday, 17 July 2015

How to Test Your Slippery Floors

For commercial operations and public spaces, the safety of employees, customers and the general public should be a top priority. Most people recognise that slippery floors can be a hazard in themselves, and the danger worsens when combined with running, wet conditions or other spills, and uneven surfaces. The question is how best to test the slipperiness of your floor before determining whether you need a premium anti slip floor treatment product.



There are a wide number of testing methods that are in popular use, and which is most suitable will vary according to the specific conditions that your floor is expected to experience. However, it should always be kept in mind that no one test will give the full picture, and a combination of at least two, but probably more like three or four should be utilised. There are four common categories of testing that will be covered here.

The first is from Appendix A, and is called the wet pendulum test. This test is appropriate for all outdoor areas, as well as any indoor areas which are reasonably likely to come into contact with moisture. This device was first developed to test the condition of wet road surfaces, but has now been adopted for pedestrian application. This test involves spraying the surface with water, and then swinging a spring loaded weight in an arc which glides across the floor and up the other side. The height is measured and the average of the last three of five swings tells the reader how slippery the floor is. The wet pendulum test has the distinct advantage of being able to be carried out insitu, rather than having to remove the flooring to test it. Over time, it is inevitable that the surface of any material in a high foot traffic area will slowly change. Repeated performance of this test will allow the concerned party to monitor the changing slipperiness over time, and plan ahead to prevent future incidents.

Next is the dry floor friction test from Appendix B. As the only dry surface test, this one is essential for areas such as inside shopping centres and offices, and would be well paired with other wet tests for outdoor areas. This method involves using a specialised Torus device, which self-propels along the floor. The machine determines the force required to pull a rubber strip along the floor at a constant speed. The process is repeated in a perpendicular direction, and the average of the two measurements is found.

The wet barefoot test comes from Appendix C, and the oil ramp test from Appendix D. These are both two more wet tests, but the difference is that these can only be performed in the laboratory, and so the process cannot be performed on existing floors. The former is appropriate for typically barefoot wet areas such as showers, swimming pools and beachside public spaces. The latter is appropriate for industrial areas which may come into contact with oil or grease, as well as drainage gutters and grates.

For these ramp tests, the floor in question is set at an incline, and an experimenter determines the angle at which it is no longer possible or safe to walk on. Any outdoor ramp, or indoor ramp in contact with water or oils, must undergo and pass this test before being installed. It should be noted that these ‘ramp’ tests are not only for surfaces intended for use as a ramp, but can be for flat surfaces too. The ramp term originates from the method of testing which uses an incline.

If you discover that your flooring is underperforming, then talk to the helpful anti slip floor treatment specialists at Step Solve at http://stepsolve.com.au/.

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