Pendulum Slip Testing

Slips and trips are the most common cause of injury in the workplace. Whatever your business, you have a duty of care to staff, customers and members of the public while they are on your property.

A slip risk assessment is an essential step to minimise the risk of such accidents and any associated legal ramifications. Pendulum slip testing is the HSE’s standard method for assessing floor slipperiness, as it provides reliable, accurate results.

How is pendulum slip testing carried out?

Pendulum CoF testing uses a portable device that replicates the dynamic coefficient of force (CoF) on the floor surface. This means using a swinging pendulum arm with a special rubber slider that simulates the act of walking.

Once the pendulum is set up on the area to be tested, the arm is released and the slider swings to make contact with the floor, just like a heel striking the surface. The further the pendulum travels after making contact, the more slippery the floor.

Pendulum testing can be carried out on most types of floors and can be used on wet, dry and contaminated surfaces. For example, you might want to test the floor of a swimming pool changing room when wet, or see how spilled cooking oil affects the slipperiness of a commercial kitchen floor. Testing can be carried out on roads and pavements, and different sliders can also be used to replicate barefoot pedestrian traffic.

Take a look at this article to find out more about how slip testing is performed.

What do pendulum slip results mean?

The pendulum slip test generates a pendulum test value (PTV), which is used to determine the slip risk of the floor.

PTV results on floors:

0–24: High
25–35: Moderate
36–74: Low
75+: Extremely Low

PTV results on roads or barefoot on floors:

0–19: High
20–39: Moderate
40–74: Low
75+: Extremely Low

Probability of a slip based on PTV results:

PTV of 36 : 1 in 1 million
PTV of 34: 1 in 100,000
PTV of 24: 1 in 20

What regulations cover floor slipperiness?

The Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992 require floors to be fit for purpose, in good condition and free from obstructions. By not adhering to this, you open yourself up to accusations of negligence in the event of a slip or trip.

Pendulum slip testing is covered by British Standards BS 7976. This standard is broken down into the following:

BS 7976-1: 2002 Pendulum testers. Specification British Standards Institution 2002
BS 7976-2: 2002 Pendulum testers. Method of Operation British Standards Institution 2002
BS 7976-3: 2002 Pendulum testers. Method of Calibration British Standards Institution 2002

Is the pendulum test recognised in a court of law?

Yes. The pendulum CoF test is used as standard in personal injury claims to assess whether a floor was slippery and contributed to the injury. However, it must be carried out correctly by a professional to ensure accuracy and a conclusive result.

If someone slips while on your premises and makes a claim against you, the pendulum test will be used to ascertain your liability. By preemptively having your floors tested, you can determine any issues and remedy them before they cause any problems.

While it’s impossible to completely eliminate any and all slip risks, by doing your due diligence, you can minimise the risk and avoid being found to be negligent should an accident occur.

Pendulum slip testing by CleanSafe

CleanSafe carry out slip risk testing to determine whether your floor surfaces are suitable. We also offer anti-slip floor treatments to improve the safety of your floors should the results be less than acceptable.

Contact us today to find out more about how we can improve the safety of your premises now.