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Tile Safety-10 Reasons Why Slip Resistance Matters

tiled floor

10 Reasons Why Slip Resistance Matters


1. Safety First

Slips are an extremely common cause of injury and result in thousands of hospital admissions each year. Tiles that are wet, contaminated or poorly designed will increase the likelihood of an accident occurring.

2. Be Compliant 

There are various standards and guidelines which describe how to measure slip resistance and what the minimum performance requirements should be in certain situations and environments. Ensure that your products meet industry regulations.

3. Defensibility

If an accident occurs and your product is found to be unsafe, defective or poorly specified, you may be liable. Insurance claims and legal proceedings can be costly and damaging to your reputation. Don’t wait for an accident to take place. With a few simple steps, you can protect yourself from fines and unforeseen losses.

4. Know Your Product

Quality control involves knowing your products’ specifications and regularly re- evaluating their performance. A slip rating can be attributed to every floor tile. If they are provided externally by suppliers, it is your responsibility to ensure they are accurate and there is no deterioration in quality across batches.

5. Tile Performance

Footfall, cleaning chemicals and exposure to the elements are just some of the factors that can negatively affect slip resistance. A tile’s performance should be assessed at the design and manufacture stage, after transportation and warehousing, post installation and at regular intervals thereafter.

6. Boost Confidence

Customers are becoming increasingly ‘slip savvy’. Offer better product recommendations based on accurate slip ratings. Architects, building owners and facilities managers will often request this information specifically. Not only does this provide reassurance, it also demonstrates your competence as a business.

7. Focus on Improvement

Your tiles should be functional and not just beautiful. Slip resistance is an important consideration in the development of new products. Improve your existing range and measure the effect of surface treatments and cleaning products.

8. The Preferred Method

The Pendulum Tester is the preferred method of testing slip resistance according to the Health & Safety Executive and the UK Slip Resistance Group. It is simple to use, and the results are reliable and easy to interpret.

9. Do it Yourself

With the correct training the Pendulum Tester can be successfully operated by anyone. Your machine can be certified by an independent accredited body, giving you the peace of mind that your results are reliable and robust. This dispenses with the need for expensive third-party testing.

10. Be an Industry Leader

Don’t let standards slip! 😉

Tile Safety-10 Reasons Why Slip Resistance Matters

For more information or advice on slip resistance and tile safety, contact us

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Ramp Test vs Pendulum

Wet floor

It is not uncommon to find slip ratings on flooring products such as tiles and laminate. These are usually represented as R-values or Pendulum Test Values (PTV).

Whilst many flooring professionals rely on R-values or PTV as a measure of slip resistance, these are commonly misunderstood. Following guidance by the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) and UK Slip Resistance Group (UKSRG), use of the Pendulum Tester is becoming more prevalent due to its portability, cost-effectiveness and suitability on a wider range of flooring surfaces.

In this post we take a closer look at the Ramp test and Pendulum testing procedures, and their respective applications, benefits and disadvantages.

What is a Ramp Test?

The Ramp Test involves an active participant standing on a ramp protected by a fall restraint harness. The operator, wearing standard footwear or barefoot (depending on the standard), walks backwards and forwards over a sample of a flooring material that has been evenly coated with a contaminant - either oil or soapy water depending on the standard. The test starts with the ramp in a horizontal position; the operator gradually increases the angle of inclination until the limit of safe walking is reached and the test person “slips”. The acceptance angle obtained is used to express the degree of slip resistance (the “R” value). The German ramp test method is recognised worldwide (Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore and the Ceramic Tile Institute of America (CTIOA)).

3 types of Test methods:

DIN 51130: A German standard that uses a cleated work boot and oil. A common problem is interpreting the data produced. It is presented as a scale running from R9 (the most slippery) to R13 (the least slippery). It is a common misconception that the scale starts at R1 and that R9 is therefore a safe rating.

DIN 51097: A German standard that tests slip resistance of flooring in barefoot conditions using soapy water as a contaminant. Results are presented in a scale running from A (most slippery) to C (least slippery).

HSL ramp test: The HSL ramp test forms the basis for the British Standard (BS 4592) and uses footwear soled with slider 96 rubber and clean water as a contaminant. Results are presented as CoF (co-efficient of friction). A version of this test can be used to test footwear.

What is Pendulum Testing?

Also known as the British Pendulum Tester, the Portable Skid Resistance Tester was originally designed in the 1940s to measure the slip resistance of floors in government buildings. During the late 1950s, the instrument was adopted and redesigned to study problems in the design and maintenance of public highways, and to test the frictional resistance of new roads, road markings and iron works.

Today, the Portable Skid Resistance Tester is most commonly used to test the slip resistance of roads, pedestrian walkways, office surfaces, shopping malls floors, factories, airports and sports facilities – both at the design stage, after installation and in the investigation of accidents.

Test Methods:

Tests can be carried out in accordance with a variety of different standards. These include BS EN 13036-4, BS 7976-2, BS EN 1097-8, BS 812-114, ASTM E303, AS 4586 and AS 4663. These are broadly similar, but there are some minor variations. Unlike the Ramp Test, tests can be carried out In-situ.

Benefits of R Numbers:

  • The ramp test can produce very consistent results. The person walking on the ramp is trained to walk a specified pace to reduce variations.
  • Ramp testing can be used to test mats and surface coverings that may be unsuitable for the Pendulum.
  • The ramp test can test floors and footwear and provides results in terms of coefficient of friction (CoF).
  • The ramp test can assess a specific sole, heel material or tread pattern and can be used on a variety of flooring types.

Disadvantages of R values and Ramp Testing:

  • Ramp testing uses oil or soap as the contaminant, whereas water is more commonly implicated in slip accidents
  • Ramp tests are unsuitable for assessing the effectiveness of cleaning regimes or changes in the performance of the floor that may take place over time
  • The Ramp Test is laboratory based and cannot be carried out in-situ on flooring that has already been installed.
  • Interpretation of the R values isn’t straightforward. Each ‘R’ value contains a range of possible results making it difficult to ascertain how slippery a floor is.
  • Tests are expensive and usually must be carried out by a third party
  • German Ramp Test standard uses a cleated work boot and oil as the contaminant. If this is not representative of the area where the floor will be installed, the results may be misleading.

Benefits of Pendulum Skid Resistance tester and PTV:

  • The preferred test method of the Health & Safety Executive (HSE), the UK Slip Resistance Group (UKSRG) and the Tile Association in the UK.
  • Used extensively for large-scale commercial projects
  • Can provide results in both wet and dry conditions
  • Can be operated by one person
  • Can be used in situ to assess the slip risk of floors that have been already installed
  • Can be used to test small samples.
  • Can be used to assess the effects of cleaning regimes and repeated footfall on surfaces.
  • Contaminant doesn’t only have to be water – Can be any potential real-life contaminants
  • Instruments can be used by businesses internally without the need for expensive third-party testing.
  • Straightforward to use.
  • International recognised.
  • Can simulate a shoe sole or bare foot.

Disadvantages of PTV and Pendulum Skid Testing:

  • Although the equipment is portable, it is on the heavy side (12.5 kg).
  • Testing process can be time consuming
  • Test standards are not streamlined worldwide
  • Not widely recognised in United States of America

Which is more cost effective?

The Ramp Test is a large fixed piece of equipment designed for use in a laboratory only. It can be used to assess how different types of flooring surfaces perform with different types of footwear. However, owing to its size, testing can only be performed before a floor is laid,

The Pendulum Tester is portable, meaning tests can be carried out on site without having to remove a sample.  This also provides a more accurate picture of the real-life slip risk. The Pendulum can also be used by tile and flooring companies to carry out internal product testing quickly and easily. This can assist with R&D and offering better customer recommendations.

Overall, the Pendulum tends to be much more cost effective option. Due to the size of the Ramp Test, the need for trained operators and strict laboratory conditions, ramp testing is significantly more expensive. Pendulum tests also tend to be the quicker option, meaning they are ideal in situations where results are needed promptly.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE), UK Slip Resistance Group (UKSRG) and Tile Association (TTA) recommend the Pendulum test method for assessing slip resistance.

Ramp Test vs Pendulum

For further information about the Pendulum Skid Resistance Tester, get in touch via email ( or by telephone (+44 (0) 20 8551 7000).

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Pendulum Accessories Kit

Pendulum Feet

The Munro Stanley Pendulum Tester is built to last. Providing the instrument is regularly serviced and calibrated, it is capable of providing several decades of service with no deterioration in the quality of the results.

As with all precision instruments, it is important that the Pendulum Tester is carefully prepped prior to use. Failure to do so may result in inaccurate and unreliable readings.

In this post, we will explain how the accessories are used to set up the instrument, condition the rubber sliders and verify your results.

What are the accessories of Skid Resistance Tester?


  • Rubber Sliders
  • Aluminium Sample Holder
  • Lapping Film
  • P400 Paper
  • Float Glass
  • Pavigres Tile
  • Perspex Setting Gauge
  • Tools Wallet
  • Thermometer
  • Water Bottle

These are supplied in accordance with the UK Slip Resistance Group (UKSRG) guidelines. We recommend all users of the Pendulum obtain a copy of these useful instructions.

Rubber Sliders

Rubber Sliders are fitted onto the end of the Pendulum arm. There are three main types of slider. Each one has specific properties and must be carefully selected depending on the type of surface that you are testing.

  • TRL(55) Rubber Sliders have a hardness of 55±5 IRHD. They should be used in ‘barefoot’ pedestrian areas (e.g. bathrooms, changing rooms, swimming pools). They are also used on vehicular surfaces such as roads and runways.
  • 4S(96) Rubber Sliders have a hardness of 96±2 IRHD. They should be in ‘shod’ pedestrian areas (indoor/outdoor public spaces, pavements etc.).
  • CEN Rubber Sliders have a hardness of 53-65 IRHD.


  • Pendulum Accessories Kit

15 mm Spanner

Use the spanner to fasten the rear leg into position.

C Spanner

Once you have attached the Pendulum arm to the rotating head, tighten the retaining nut using the C Spanner.

Note: Ensure that the dowel is correctly engaged. Do not force it, as this may cause the hole to widen.

Aluminium Sample Holder

The Aluminium Sample Holder is used for conditioning the rubber sliders, verifying the Pendulum and holding floor/tile/road samples. It will prevent unwanted movement when testing samples and verification surfaces.

  • The clip is used for the P400 paper and lapping film.
  • The recess fits the Float Glass and Pavigres Tile.
  • The pegs allow you to adjust the size of the sample space.

Perspex Setting Gauge

The Setting Gauge is to set the sliding length (or ‘footprint’) of the conditioned Rubber Slider. This is the distance the rubber slider travels whilst in contact with the test surface. The sliding length should be 124±1 mm (or 76 mm if using small rubber sliders). This should be measured from the trailing edge of the metal slider plate, not the rubber itself.

The outer marks on the Setting Gauge are 125 mm apart. The two marks on the left-hand side indicate the 2 mm tolerance allowed. The distance between the right-hand mark and the middle mark is 76 mm.

Some models of the Setting Gauge also have a working edge ruler. This helps to determine when the rubber slider is too thin to use.

Rubber Slider Conditioning Surfaces

The following items are needed to prepare your rubber slider before use:

  • Sample Holder
  • Float Glass
  • P400 Conditioning Paper
  • Green Lapping Film (if using a TRL(55) Rubber Slider)
  • Pink Lapping Film (if using a 4S(96) Rubber Slider)
  • Water Spray Bottle

Preparation of the rubber sliders is crucial for good reproducibility. It ensures that each slider begins the test in the same condition. Rubber sliders must always be clean and free from contamination. Failure to follow this procedure may affect the validity of your results.

Click here for instructions on how to condition rubber sliders.

Pendulum Verification Surfaces

The Pendulum Tester should be verified at the start of each day of testing and after re-assembly or transportation. The verification procedure is an extremely important part of the testing procedure. It demonstrates to you, and all those making use of your results, that the instrument has been set up correctly and is functioning properly.

Verification is achieved by performing tests on a number of well-defined surfaces with a known Pendulum Test Value (PTV). These are given in the table below:

TRL(55) Rubber Slider 4S(96) Rubber Slider
Pink Lapping Film N/A 59-64 PTV
Float Glass 5-10 PTV 5-10 PTV
Pavigrés Tile 13-19 PTV 32-36 PTV

If these values are not obtained, you must not proceed with testing. The pendulum set-up procedure (including slider conditioning) should be re-performed, and the rubber slider should be checked for defects. If you continue to experience difficulties verifying your instrument, please contact Munro Instruments for further assistance.

Pendulum Accessories Kit

If you would like further information on using the Pendulum Tester accessories, please get in touch via email ( or by phone (+44 (0) 20 8551 7000).

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Safety in the Workplace


Employers are responsible for the health-and-safety rights of their employees.

This is enforceable in the UK under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. Companies who fail to comply are at risk of legal action, fines, payouts, raised insurance premiums and, in the most serious cases, imprisonment. Make sure you take health and safety seriously. Keep you employees happy, fit and able, and protect your company’s finances and reputation!

For information about how to manage slips in the workplace, get in touch via email ( or by phone (+44 (0) 20 8551 7000).

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Slip Risk in Restaurants

Slips and trips are a common cause of injury and fatality in the restaurant industry. These are usually as a result of spillages and poor cleaning practices. Companies are required by law to protect the health and safety of their employees and anyone who may be affected by their work. There are a number of precautionary measures that can be taken to reduce the likelihood of a slip accident taking place.That's why checking out Slip Risk in Restaurants is so important

It is a commonly thought that covering the affected area with cardboard is sufficient. However, this can create a surfboard motion for anyone who walks over it and may increase the chances of slipping. The best solution is to thoroughly wipe the area with a clean, dry tissue to return it to its original state.

The consequences of not cleaning effectively can be seen in an HSE case study titled ‘Chef slips and suffers severe arm burns from hot oil’. Here it is reported that a chef, while on duty at work, slipped as he walked over a pool of water and burned his outstretched arm in nearby hot oil. HSE had previously warned the company about wet floors and fined them £14,000.

Slip Testing in Restaurants

Another cause of slips which many businesses fail to address is a poorly specified floor. In this scenario, the risk of slipping cannot be easily lowered - even with an effective cleaning regime. It is good practice to assess the slip resistance of a surface at regular intervals. This can be done by using a skid resistance tester, which gives an indication of how slippery a floor is. If the instrument indicates that the surface is slippery, it may be necessary to replace the flooring with a more suitable material or treat it in some way. This does not dispense with the need for good cleaning practice, nor the requirement that employees in high-risk areas wear slip resistant soles and low heels.

Slip Risk in Restaurants


If you would like further information on assessing and managing slip risk in restaurants, please get in touch via email ( or by phone (+44 (0) 20 8551 7000).

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Introduction to the Pendulum Tester

Pendulum Feet

The British Pendulum Tester (also known as the Portable Skid Resistance Tester) is used to measure the slip and skid potential of pedestrian surfaces and roads. Originally designed to measure floor slipperiness in government buildings, the instrument was later adopted by the Transport Research Laboratory as a means of assessing road safety. The British Pendulum is now the recognised method of assessing slip resistance and is recommended for use by the UK Slip Resistance Group (UKSRG) and the Health & Safety Group (HSE). It is an essential tool for anyone wishing to minimize the risk of accidents on slippery roads and floor surfaces.

How does the British Pendulum Tester work?

It works by means of a swinging arm (pendulum). A specially designed rubber slider – with a defined hardness, resembling that of a barefoot pedestrian, a shoe sole or car tyre (depending on the test application) – is placed at one end. When released from a horizontal position, the pendulum head strikes the sample surface with a constant velocity, creating the same dynamic uplift characteristics of a slipping foot. The distance travelled by the pendulum after striking the surface is determined by the friction resistance. The Pendulum Test Value (PTV) can be read directly from a clearly engraved scale or, using our latest model, the Intelligent Pendulum, from a clear OLED digital display. The PTV is directly proportional to the coefficient of friction (by a factor of 100).

Our Intelligent Pendulum

As a scientific instrument, the need for accuracy is paramount. All our instruments are carefully calibrated on-site and, if required, sent to the British Standards Institute (BSI) for certification. This provides users with an absolute assurance of accuracy when testing. Detailed instructions manuals are supplied with each instrument, guiding users through the testing process. In addition, our latest model, the Intelligent Pendulum, displays helpful prompts reminding users of correct practice. Training in the use of the machine is also available.

Introduction to the Pendulum Tester