Slips, trips and falls on the flat cause a third of non-fatal injuries in UK workplaces as reported under RIDDOR in 2017/18.
At HSE, they understand the science behind slips.
By identifying the true causes of slips, trips and falls in our workplaces, they can help prevent future accidents.
Their footwear rating scheme, GRIP, provides free information about the slip performance of footwear to help inform your purchasing decision.
Footwear buyers can use their research to enable them to choose the most appropriate slip resistant shoes for their employees, thereby reducing slip accidents and their associated business costs.
Footwear submitted to the HSE’s Science and Research Centre for GRIP rating is tested on a standardised slippery wet ceramic tile. The conditions are deliberately challenging, in order to find out what happens when footwear is pushed to the limits of slip resistance.
The tests are carried out using water, the cause of most workplace slips, and glycerol, a thicker contaminant which simulates oil.
One to three star GRIP ratings require an increasing level of grip with water, with the necessary coefficient of friction rising from 0.19 for one star to 0.36 for three stars.
The four star rating requires a coefficient of friction of 0.36 for water and 0.19 for the more slippery glycerol. To achieve the top GRIP rating of five stars, footwear must have a coefficient of friction of 0.36 with water and 0.27 with glycerol, which in both cases forms 75% of the test mixture.
In addition to the one to five stars to indicate the level of slip resistance, GRIP also assigns a rating year. A product tested by the HSE in the 12 months to 31 March 2020 will be given a rating year of 2020.
Manufacturers are able to use the GRIP rating until the end of the rating year and products must be re-rated every year to retain GRIP status.
Details of submitted products and their GRIP ratings are available at https://ww.hsl.gov.uk/publications-and-products/grip/grip-ratings