The Portable Skid Resistance Tester, also known as the British Pendulum Tester, was originally designed in the 1940s by Percy Sigler to measure the slip resistance of floors in government buildings. During the late 1950s the instrument was adopted and redesigned by the then Road Research Laboratory (RRL, now known as the Transport Research Laboratory, TRL).
Research by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has identified that in excess of 90% of the slipping accidents in the UK occur on wet floors, most usually, on relatively smooth floors.
The Portable Skid Resistance Tester is regularly used to test the slip resistance on pedestrian walkways and flooring, within offices, shopping malls, factories, airports, and on sports surfaces; both at the design stage and in the investigation of accidents.
The Portable Skid Resistance Tester is based on the Izod principle. In operation, a pendulum of a known mass rotates about a vertical spindle.
The head of the pendulum is fitted with a Rubber Slider, which has a specific hardness and resilience. When released from a horizontal position, the pendulum head strikes the sample surface with a constant velocity.
The distance travelled by the pendulum after striking the sample, is determined by the friction resistance of the sample surface. The skid resistance values, which, approximately correspond to the co-efficient of friction times 100, are read directly from the clearly engraved scale.