Pendulum Test – What Is It?


We’ve mentioned the pendulum test quite a few times on the Bonasystems site in regards to measuring the slip-resistance of floors. But what exactly is the pendulum test? How does it work? And how can you use it to benefit your business?

What is the Pendulum Test?

The pendulum test assesses the friction offered by a floor surface when a foot comes into contact with it. It can measure slip potential of both dry, wet and contaminated flooring.

Why use the Pendulum Test?

The test is the subject of a British Standard (BS 7976: Parts 1-3, 2002) and has is recommended by the HSE (Health and Safety Executive). It is the only test used in enforcement and prosecution. Ensuring that you pass the pendulum test is a great way to prove to authorities, insurance companies and lawyers that you have provided a safe floor environment, and can be used for your protection should you be taken to court; or indeed to prevent claims from the outset.

How does the Pendulum Test work?

A pendulum test is operated by a swinging arm that sweeps over a floor area. At the end of the arm is a rubber slider, which strikes and passes along the floor over a predetermined distance. If the arm is released without touching the floor, it swings from horizontal to horizontal (no friction). Once it strikes the floor, friction decelerates the arm and therefore it swings less far.

Are there standard sliders?

Yes. There are two standard sliders known as slider 96 and slider 55. Slider 96 is a representation of an average pedestrian wearing footwear. Slider 55 is to represent barefoot.

How is the test measured?

The arm of the Pendulum also has a pointer. The pointer will show a Pendulum Test Value (PTV). There are three slip-potential categories:

High: 0-24

Moderate: 25-35

Low: 36+

What do the numbers mean?

The PTV equates to an approximate accident risk. For example a PTV of 19 gives an accident risk of 1 in 2; whereas a PTV of 36 gives an accident risk of 1 in 1,000,000.

In many environments, a PTV of 36+ (in both dry and wet conditions) is used as the HSE benchmark. Should your floor not achieve 36+ you may find yourself liable to increased accident risk, poor claims defensibility, and a fine of up to 100% of annual profit under the health & safety sentencing guidelines.

How can I get a Pendulum Test?

To get your FREE slip-risk assessment call Bonasystems on 01442 927100 or email

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