Slip resistance testing

A positive first step in reducing your risk is determining the slip resistance of your pedestrian surfaces. Stone Initiatives has wide experience in slip resistance, both in product testing and litigation.

How is slip resistance tested?

In Australia and New Zealand slip resistance is measured according to two different (but similar) standards, depending on whether the surface is new or existing. New pedestrian surfaces are tested in accordance with the current version of AS 4586, while existing pedestrian surface are tested in accordance with AS 4663.

Stone Initiatives is Australia’s only NATA-accredited laboratory specialising in dimension stone. Our experienced technicians can help to ensure your project or flooring sample meets Australian Standards related to slip resistance, and we can also test to determine compliance with the slip resistance requirements of the National Building Code.

Why choose us?

Our team can test for the slip resistance of your existing project on site, anywhere in Australia, or you can send surface samples to be tested in our NATA-accredited lab here in Adelaide. Our staff have more than 30 years of experience in slip resistance testing for tiles, flooring systems and other pedestrian surfaces. We are skilled and experienced trouble-shooters backed by a laboratory that can provide additional services related to pedestrian surface finishes – this makes solving problems and minimising risk in your project quicker, easier and stress free. 

Have questions? Need a quote? Get in touch.

Relevant tests

Wet Pendulum – Slip Resistance – AS4586:2013 & AS4663:2013
Dry Floor Friction testing – AS4586:13 & AS4663:2013
Skid Resistance – DTEI TP345
Accelerated Wear Testing – SI-AWT-2016

For more tests see Summary of Our Capabilities.

“Complying with slip resistance requirements can be difficult – what works for one location and surface type might not work for another. On top of that, our clients often have the challenge of meeting the project’s aesthetic requirements. In addition to slip testing, we are often called on to utilise our experience and recommend alternative finishes that might achieve the desired aesthetics.”

– Kate Tonkin, Materials Testing Specialist, Finishes Evaluation Services

Measurement of wet slip resistance: Wet Pendulum Test

The Pendulum method measures the frictional resistance between a rubber slider mounted on the end of a pendulum arm and the test surface. The pendulum consists of an arm that rotates about a spindle attached to a vertical support pillar. At the other end of the arm is a mass (shaped like a foot) fitted with a spring-loaded rubber slider. The pendulum is locked into a horizontal position and then released so that it strikes the sample surface over a set distance with a constant velocity and energy. The pendulum continues its arc past the strike path and the height of the forward swing is determined by the energy lost due to friction when in contact with the sample surface. A pointer is pushed along by the pendulum and records the height of the swing. A reading is recorded from the scale and recorded as the British Pendulum Number (BPN) or Skid Resistance Values (SRV).

Want to learn more? See our full technical article here.

Wet pendulum instrument for slip testing.

A guide to slip resistance recommendations for location types *

Type of locationLocation Example for P5 to P0 classifications according to HB198:2014Pendulum Classification AS 4586-2013BPN Range
Ramps in wet locations, usually outdoors exposed to the weather or leading into and around pools etc.– External ramps steeper than 1:14
– Loading docks
– Commercial kitchens
– Swimming pool ramps and stairs
P5> 54
External wet areas (not on a significant slope).  Also applies to continuously wet public areas such as around pools, in communal change rooms and behind bars in public hotels and clubs.– External colonnade and walkways, pedestrian crossings, driveways, verandas and balconies
– Serving areas behind bars, cold stores
– Swimming pool surrounds
– Communal shower rooms
P445 – 54
Internal wet areas. Areas that are indoors or undercover but are likely to be wet, either from water tracking or spills etc.– Shopping centres: food court, fresh food areas
– Entries and access areas: public buildings (WET)
– Undercover concourse of sports stadiums
– Bathrooms in hospitals and aged care facilities
– Toilet facilities in public buildings
P335 – 44
Internal areas that have the possibility of water tracking or spills but are primarily kept clean and dry.– Entries and access areas: public buildings (TRANSITIONAL)
– Hotel bathrooms, ensuites and toilets
– Hotel kitchens and laundries
– Wards and Corridors in hospitals
and aged care facilities
P225 – 34
Internal areas that are kept clean and dry at all times.– Entries and access areas: public buildings (DRY)
– Supermarket aisles (except fresh food)
P112 – 24

* Slip resistance recommendations as detailed in Standards Australia handbook HB198:2014


Further Reading:

Accidents Never Happen

In today’s world of litigation, it appears that accidents never happen, someone is always to blame – slips and falls are no exception. Pedestrian surfaces are becoming litigation minefields following falls on surfaces as wide ranging as polished stone to linoleum and bitumen roadways. There is a need for everyone from the architect to the maintenance supervisor to keep in mind the potential hazard of all pedestrian surfaces. Read more …

Appropriate slip testing can help to minimise the risk of slips and falls.