Slip resistance

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.

The standard for new pedestrian surfaces (AS 4586) provides a method for determining dry slip resistance (using a Floor Friction Tester) and a range of different methods for evaluating slip resistance in a wet condition (i.e. Pendulum, Wet/barefoot Ramp and Oil-wet Ramp). Only one of these methods (Pendulum) can be used on a fixed (installed) surface and this method is documented within AS 4663 along with the method for the Floor Friction Tester which is also able to be used on site.

The various slip resistance test methods are described briefly below along with the pros and cons for each method.

Measurement of dry slip resistance. Determination of dry slip resistance is of particular importance for smooth floors (e.g. polished granite or terrazzo) that are located in areas that would not normally become wet. Such areas may include internal foyers, upper lift lobbies or shops inside shopping centres.

The floor friction tester (known by acronym FFT or the popular marketing name of Tortus) is a portable self-powered mobile unit which measures the dynamic coefficient of friction between the surface and a standard rubber slider. The unit is about the size of an old fashioned VCR and basically includes a load cell, a friction foot fitted with a small rubber slider and a means of recording the coefficient of friction as the unit moves across the floor.

Reference documents

ABCB Advisory Note 2014-1 Slip-resistance for Stairways, Landings and Ramps

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