January 2019

Your guide to the different slip resistance tests

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Concerned about the safety of your bus floors? Book a visit with us to find out more about how we can help you make sure your floors are compliant.

In order to reduce the number of accidents on our buses, we need to ensure that the floors used have a competent slip resistance rating. There are three commonly used tests for slip resistance, each different to the other and therefore, testing for different things. Two are commonly used in the UK: the ramp test and the pendulum test.

The ramp test

The ramp test (DIN 51130), measures the gradient at which a person slips on a flooring sample on a ramp. The flooring is contaminated with motor oil, and the person used in the test wears cleated work boots. The HSE warns that:

If this is not representative of the area where you wish to install the floor, the data will be misleading. Another common problem is interpreting the data produced. Each ‘R’ value contains a range of possible results making it difficult to ascertain how slippery a floor is.1


It is also important to consider that the ramp test can only be conducted on flooring prior to installation, so a ramp test cannot be used to measure sustained slip resistance or monitor how effective a cleaning regime is for maintaining slip resistance. So, while an R classification is a good indicator of a general value of the slip resistance of your chosen floor, to get a more accurate interpretation it is better to view these values alongside a coefficient of friction or a pendulum test value.

The pendulum test

The pendulum test is HSE’s preferred method of testing as it tests in the conditions where most slips happen, and also because it is portable.2 Being portable, this means that flooring in situ can be tested to measure sustained slip resistance and the effectiveness of the cleaning regime. The pendulum test is designed to replicate the point at which most slips arise – when the heel of a foot or shoe strikes the floor. It is routinely conducted with water as a contaminant but dry contaminants can also be used. A pendulum test value, or PTV, gives a more exact indication of the slip resistance of your floor, with a PTV of 36 or higher denoting a one in a million chance of a slip.

On all Altro flooring technical information, you will find both an R value and a PTV to describe slip resistance. This is because we’re proud that our flooring achieves such excellent safety accreditation and we want to be as open and honest with you as possible about the flooring you choose.

HSE, ‘The ramp test’ Watch Your Step Slips & Trips eLearning Package, February 2009.
HSE, ‘The pendulum test’ Watch Your Step Slips & Trips eLearning Package, February 2009.
Posted: 16/01/2019 08:00:00 by Heather Mussett | with 0 comments

Altro now recommended suppliers for ProCure22

Altro have been appointed as a recommended supplier of Wall & Door Protection by the PSCPs on the Department of Health & Social Care’s ProCure22 Framework for NHS and social care construction schemes in England. Altro wall and door systems, including Altro Whiterock and Altro Fortis systems, are recommended for use throughout healthcare environments.

The ProCure22 (P22) process is designed to achieve improved value for money and reduce exposure to risk through a simplified capital procurement procedure.

With up to 20 year product guarantees, Altro can ensure healthcare environments provide an impervious and hygienic environment, meeting the stringent requirements in critical hygiene areas. With up to 43 colour choices and new Altro Whiterock wall designs, a warm and welcoming environment can be created to reduce stress and improve patient and staff wellbeing.

Altro also provide a wide selection of floor solutions that can be used in all areas of healthcare environments, including specialist safety solutions for areas of high slip risk including bathrooms and kitchens.

Altro are the only walls manufacturer on the P22 supplier list to have been awarded DSDC accreditation and we are the only walls and doors manufacturer to have HACCP approval for wall and floor products.

“Altro pioneered hygienic wall sheets and we have over 35 years of experience providing these solutions in healthcare environments, including many projects within the NHS and social care. We are proud our wall and door solutions have been recognised as a cost- effective and durable solution for healthcare, which supports our commitment to creating environments that are designed for the wellbeing of everyone who uses them.”

Mark Johnstone, Head of Commercial - UK, Middle East and Ireland

The following products are included in the P22 standard components list:

This award is valid until October 2020.

Posted: 09/01/2019 09:00:00 by Heather Mussett | with 0 comments

A clean bill of health

Altro Whiterock is often specified for commercial kitchens and for wet environments because it’s impervious, hygienic, easy to clean and looks great. When chosen for refurbishments, there’s a good chance that the wall sheet will be replacing tiles, which are prone to cracks and can harbour dirt in the grout. The good news is that there’s no need to remove the tiles – it’s fine to install Altro Whiterock over the top, in fact tiles can be better to install over than what might be underneath them.

Don’t worry about whether the tiles are glazed, unglazed, large, small, grout lines or no grout lines, it’s all fine. Just note that loose tiles need to be removed and replaced with comparable thickness plywood or other dry lining materials. If the tile is heavily contaminated or painted, it can be abraded with a diamond disc grinder.

When working in a commercial kitchen, downtime can be a major issue for the business or service using it so installing over tiles can save valuable time. There’s just one thing that can cause you to come unstuck – literally – when doing this, and it’s such a simple thing. Those tiles have to be clean!

Ditch the dirt

When I say clean, I mean scrupulously clean. There’s a good chance that kitchen tiles will have grease or food residue and in bathrooms, there’s shampoo, conditioner and yes, I have to say it, body fats. In some places it will be obvious – around the hob, near the plug hole but splatter means that any area could be contaminated. If the contaminants aren’t removed, the adhesive that has been spread on the wall sheet won’t stick to the tiles. The result of this is that, at some point, the wall sheet will come away. The telltale sign is a slight bulge in the sheet. If you take it off, you will see that it’s not an issue with the adhesive – it’s sticking to the sheet no problem - it hasn’t adhered properly to the tile.

A simple solution

Luckily, the cleaning doesn’t require any special equipment, in fact, domestic products work best - solvents tend to evaporate so quickly that they don’t have a chance to do the job. I recommend you clean a few times and rinse off the residue from the cleaning products between cleans. Clean methodically, in sections – I’ve noticed that the problem can be in the lower and higher parts of the wall, where you have to bend or stretch to clean. It doesn’t have to take long as long as it’s thorough.

So what if this has happened in your installation? If one panel is affected, it will be a straight replacement, if it goes across more than one, it’s obviously a bigger job – in both cases it’s disruptive to the end user and you have to deal with removing the adhesive in order to start again so avoiding the situation is best.

As always, please be aware of the health and safety procedures; carry out the right risk assessment, always use the correct personal protective equipment and ensure adequate ventilation when using adhesives and cleaning products.

If you need any guidance on this, or any other aspect of installing our walls sheets, please get in touch. You can also visit our website for guidance.

Until next time, Roger out.

Posted: 28/01/2019 08:00:00 by Saloni Robinson | with 0 comments

Recofloor awards 2019 nominations are open!

2019 is the 10th anniversary of the Recofloor scheme and we are going to celebrate accordingly with a special awards event in April.

Recofloor, the vinyl-take back scheme that we’re proud to have co-founded of, is holding its annual awards at the historic Belfry Hotel and Resort, home of the renowned golf course, on Friday 26 April 2019.

Celebrating a decade of collecting and diverting over 4000 tonnes of vinyl flooring away from landfill, this is a fantastic opportunity for contractors, distributors and construction companies to be recognised for their commitment to, and achievements in, recycling.

The awards, which ‘tee-off’ at midday, will be hosted by comedian Mark Watson. Mark is one of the country’s leading comedians and has appeared in numerous shows on television including Live at the Apollo, Mock The Week, Celebrity Pointless, Have I Got News For You, and Would I Lie To You? Mark is also a regular panellist on 5 Live’s Fighting Talk!

The Recofloor Awards celebrate scheme members who have excelled across five award categories:

  • Contractor of the Year
  • Distributor of the Year
  • Project of the Year
  • Recofloor Champion of the Year
  • Drop-off Site User of the Year

All awards, including additional categories and gold, silver and bronze certificates are judged and awarded by the Recofloor team and representatives from the schemes co-founders. Entering the Recofloor Awards provides the perfect opportunity to showcase your achievements over the past 12 months and boost your company’s green credentials.

Please join us at The Belfry for a wonderful afternoon, including drinks reception and lunch, as we look back over 10 years of the scheme and toast the future of Recofloor.

For the nomination forms, criteria for each award and details on how to book your free tickets please visit the Recofloor website.

Posted: 24/01/2019 16:37:43 by Heather Mussett | with 0 comments