In June 2014, Standards Australia released an updated handbook for: HB 198:2014 Guide to the specification and testing of slip resistance of pedestrian surfaces, as part of the National Construction Codes, or NCC (formerly known as the Building Code of Australia, or BCA).
The new guide covers:
- AS 4586: Slip resistance classification of new pedestrian surface materials
- AS 4663: Slip resistance measurement of existing pedestrian surfaces
- Requirements of the new Building Codes
- Pedestrian floor surface selection guides
- How to design for slopes and ramps
- Referenced documents that include other Australian Standards
A 2006 study commissioned by the Australian Building Codes Board (ABCB) found that “over the useful life of a building, the greatest risk to health and safety will be slips, trips, and falls” which is why safety standards, and anti slip products are so important.
Ryan Vooderhake – a tertiary qualified slip resistance testing consultant – says the updated standard have “brought in a few changes that can seem confusing at first, but are in reality not all that different to the previous versions of the slip testing standards.”
The four types of tests for slip resistance are:
- Dry Floor Friction Slip Resistance Test
- Wet Pendulum Slip Resistance Test
- Wet Barefoot Ramp Slip Resistance Test
- Oil Wet Ramp Slip Resistance Test
The new standard uses a rating system from P0 to P5. “The main difference between this and the old 2004 Australian standard is just the name of the classification, and one extra classification has been added to differentiate between results in the old ‘Z’ classification,” Vooderhake said.
He recommends previously tested surfaces be retested to see if the changes to the safety standards change the results.
“It may be that slip testing to the new standard may highlight a potentially hazardous surface that requires remediation thereby reducing possible injury” said Vooderhake.