Selecting Slip Resistant Pedestrian Surfaces

See our systematic approach to Slip Risk Assessment and Prevention

The Law

The 2005 Act 

Regulations require that

Design Factors for Slip Resistant Pedestrian Surfaces

High risk areas

Slip resistance

  • To determine the slip resistance required from a pedestrian surface, complete a slip risk assessment considering future risks including
    1. Contamination including spills, cleaning and ice
    2. Pedestrians including access, footwear and behaviour
    3. Surface including slip history, slip data and slip-resistance measurements
    4. Other slip factors, such as sectoral high risk areas, like entrances for most sectors or specific workplace risk factors, like deep fat fryers

Slip factors

  • Consider the foreseeable contaminant, for example water, oil, grease
  • Consider specification of slip resistance when installed/ in final use conditions, rather than relying on ex-factory results. This should account for any changes due to installation
  • Consider specification of a wet Pendulum Test Value (PTV) of 36+ for the surface as installed/ in final use conditions - see Measuring Slip Resistance
  • Remember that r-ratings start at 9 (high risk) and go to 13 (low risk) - see Measuring Slip Resistance
  • Consider specification of validation testing to confirm the slip resistance of the finished pedestrian surface
  • Consider specification that the required slip resistance should last a stated number of years in normal use conditions
  • Floor surfaces with directional slip resistance should be fitted to provide slip resistance in the main direction of travel especially on walkways and stairs
  • For step edges/ nosings, remember the importance of slip resistance and visual contrast 


  • HSL UK concluded “the ability to clean a typical hospital floor to a hygienic standard is not influenced by the slip resistance
  • In selecting a slip resistant floor, identify how it should be cleaned and ensure that information is communicated
  • The fact that a slip resistant floor requires more than a mop and bucket for cleaning should not prevent it's use
  • Consider the need to close sections of floor for wet-cleaning, for example, a fixed retractable cordon system


  • The surface should provide continued slip resistance for its anticipated life, allowing for predicted wear and tear

Availability of information

Heating, Ventilation and Drainage

  • Heating, ventilation and drainage should assist removal of surface water, contamination
  • Where necessary provide a fall to assist drainage


  • As required, provide shelter from the elements to reduce slip risk, e.g. entrance canopies, lobbied entrances, covered walkways

See Pedestrian Surfaces Further Information