NCC 2016 requires ramp slip resistance ratings for new construction of ramps. The pendulum or ramp rating testing must satisfy both WET and DRY minimum requirements.
Given the broad range of test methods available deciding how to best evaluate the safety of your pedestrian surface can be confusing. Correct test method selection depends on a range of factors including:
Is the surface unlikely to become wet? Some locations such as upper level lift lobbies or corridors are unlikely to become wet and therefore evaluation of the dry slip resistance using the Floor Friction Tester may be all that is required. The proposed location should be surveyed for occasional ‘water hazards’ such as wet umbrellas and beverage spills and the risk assessed accordingly.
HOW IS SLIP RESISTANCE MEASURED?
- There are five different approved methods of measuring slip resistance
- Wet Pendulum
- Wet Pendulum and Dry Floor Friction
- Dry Floor Friction
- Wet/Barefoot Ramp
- Oil-wet Ramp
Each type of test is specific to the type of installation location and the exposure to the elements. It is important to note that there is no direct correlation between the results obtained from each method; however more slip resistant surfaces should obtain higher ratings across all methods used.
Barefoot Wet Ramp Slip Resistance Test
The wet barefoot ramp slip resistance test (AS/NZS 4586 Appendix C) uses a panel of the test surface which is constructed on a ramp large enough for a person to walk on. Two test people attach themselves to a safety harness, after bathing their feet for 10 minutes to soften the skin, walk bare foot on the test surface while the angle of the platform is increased until the limit of safe walking is achieved. This is generally when the test walker slips or feels that they will slip on the board. The angle that the limit of safe walking is obtained is known as the mean angle of inclination.
Oil Wet Ramp Slip Resistance Test
The oil wet ramp slip resistance test (AS/NZS 4586 Appendix D) differs to the wet barefoot ramp test, in that instead of water, an amount of motor oil is placed on the test surface and the two test persons wear safety boots rather than barefoot. Three calibration boards are walked on in a similar manner to the wet barefoot ramp test. These calibration boards are then used to provide a correction factor to standardize the walkers.
External ramps are subject to additional issues with dust, oils from overhanging trees and general contamination like oils from vehicle exhausts and spills etc.
APPROPRIATE TREATMENT OF RAMP SLIP RESISTANCE
- Minimizing detergent residue build up or other contaminants.
- Acid etching
- Increasing surface texture.
- Coatings and sealers
- Surface coatings and penetrative types.
- Surface texture
- Coatings, etchants, sandblasting, shot blasting, etc.
- Surface replacement
Fortunately there a few excellent options available to increase ramp slip resistance and reduce the slip fall litigation risk for car park surfaces, so if you need assistance or a competitive quote contact us today.