An Overview of Slip Resistance Rating in Australia  

Slips, trips, and falls lead to a significant number of accidents all over the world. This is why well-defined safety requirements have been implemented for supplying flooring surfaces. Slip resistance rating or slip rating provides a measure of the capability of floor surface to resist slips. 

Floors that we see around us not only make our living spaces beautiful, but also play a role in keeping us safe in areas that may be prone to the danger of slipping. It is important to note here that all floor surfaces are not similar. Some of them may feel extremely smooth, while some others may come with a light sandpaper feel. However, please note that the feeling of a tile is not always the correct indicator of its slip resistance. It has been observed that floors with a textured finish surface are resistant to slips. Slip rating is the measure of this resistance that helps us determine whether a particular flooring type is safe enough for our kitchens, bathrooms, lawns, patios, or areas around the pool.  

According to the Building Code of Australia, in new commercial buildings, all paths of travel must provide a slip-resistant surface. In case of residential buildings, however, it only mandates slip-rated flooring for ramps, stair landings, and stair nosings. Slip rating is considered to be a serious concern for shopping centres, industrial buildings, warehouses and other commercial areas where falls are more likely because of factors such as pedestrian stride and pace coupled with floor surface contamination by oil, water, or other foreign substances.    

Classification of Slip Ratings  

Evaluation of slip resistance is not an easy task because a floor surface can get affected by numerous factors. Slip resistance ratings have several requirements including clear testing methods, proper evaluation, standard ratings, and controlled testing environments. Throughout Australia, slip resistance testing has been classified into testing of existing pedestrian surfaces and new pedestrian surfaces.    

Slip resistance of new pedestrian surfaces is classified further into evaluation of wet conditions and dry conditions. For the evaluation of wet surfaces, the testing methods are Wet Barefoot Ramp, Oil Wet Ramp, and Wet Pendulum Test. On the other hand, a floor friction tester is used for the testing of dry surfaces.  

Wet pendulum slip is the most commonly performed test for residential applications. On the other hand commercial facilities mostly use Wet Barefoot Ramp and Oil Wet Ramp tests.      

Different Categories of Slip Ratings   

For the wet barefoot ramp test, A, B, and C are the categories of slip ratings. On the other hand, D, P, and R ratings are used for dry floor friction test, wet pendulum slip test, and oil wet ramp test, respectively. Each of these ratings is used for the evaluation of the frictional characteristics of different types of floor surfaces in varying environmental conditions.   

If you want to find out more about floor slip resistance or need help with monitoring or testing, feel free to contact our experts at Coating Management Solutions. We carry out floor testing in compliance with Australian Standards AS 4586 & AS 4663, and also provide an accredited test report.