The Science of Slip

There are two slip resistance tests specified in EN ISO 20345:2011  (with the method described in EN13287); the first is soapy water (Sodium Lauryl Suphate solution) on a ceramic tile. If the footwear passes this test then the boot can be marked SRA. The second is oil (Glycerol) on a steel plate, if the boot passes this test then it can be marked SRB. If a boot passes both the SRA and SRB test then it can be marked SRC. 

There is a common misunderstanding that SRC is the best for slip resistance - this is not the case!  Since the introduction of slip testing, accidents caused by slips have not reduced; this is because to pass the slip requirements on oily steel manufacturers have to sacrifice some slip performance in water, but most slip accidents occur where water is the contaminant (over 95%).

The SRB test (oil on steel) has a very low pass/fail limit and the error in measurement is +/- 50%. The pass value is so low that the probability of a fall in this environment is still high. Because of this it is expected that in the next revision of EN ISO 20345 the SRB test will be significantly changed and SRC removed.

We believe that is better to have a very high value for slip resistance for water on a ceramic tile than compromise the sole design to pass a flawed SRB test, particularly if most accidents occur in water. The recommendation is: to do a risk assessment; if the contaminant is water or water based then choose boots with good SRA performance. The slip test defined in EN 13287 and specified in EN ISO 20345:2011 can be performed on most flooring materials and contaminants. For further information and performance results please get in contact.

The Workmaster™ vulcanised rubber sole produces very high levels of slip resistance with soapy water on a ceramic tile, and these test results have been confirmed during customer wear tests. Due to the performance characteristics of the sole material, boots with our vulcanised rubber sole also achieve a pass on the SRB (oil on steel test), without compromising SRA performance and are marked SRC