Ramp testing is a slip test method employed primarily at the product specification stage as it requires a sample of the test floor and cannot be conducted in situ. The subject floor is mounted to a plate on which a (lucky!) operative performs a standardised walk. The floor is lubricated and slowly inclined until the operative slips. The angle at which the operative slips forms the basis of the classification.
The differences between ramp test methods DIN 51130 and DIN 51097 come from the differing footwear and lubrication types. DIN 51130 utilises safety footwear and oil contamination whereas DIN 51097 utilises bare feet and soapy contamination. It is important to note that these, albeit subtle, differences have a significant impact on the relevance of the classifications to end use.
DIN 51130 testing produces ‘R’ values ranging from R9 to R13; R13 is the most slip resistant. This method is often used to specify floors in shopping centres, transport terminals, hotels, schools, etc, a wholly inappropriate specification given that such environments are unlikely to ever experience safety boots and oil. We have seen many floors fail to provide safe levels of grip in end use as a result of this. BS 7976-2 Pendulum testing is the method that will be used to determine whether a floor is safe or slippery following a slip, so it makes sense to use the same method to specify floors in the first place. We can provide BS 7976-2 Pendulum test results for a fraction of the price of DIN 51130 ramp testing.
DIN 51097 testing produces a classification of A, B or C, C being the most slip resistant. This method covers contamination and soles more likely to be found in end use, particularly in wet leisure environments. Typically a DIN 51097 rating of C will produce a ‘low risk of slip’ classification when assessed using the in-situ BS 7976-2 Pendulum test. Again, we can provide BS 7976-2 Pendulum test results for a fraction of the price of DIN 51097 ramp testing, and it is the BS 7976-2 Pendulum that will be used to determine the floor’s suitability in a slip and fall claim.
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