Slips in the Bath

This post introduces our Bath & Shower Pendulum Tester, a new way of measuring the Pendulum Test Value (PTV) in confined spaces, and suggests practical ways that the risk of bath slips can be effectively managed.  

Slips in the bath and shower are one of the most significant causes of serious injury and death in the bathroom.  It is therefore imperative that those with a responsibility for keeping bathroom-users safe from harm take steps to monitor and manage the slip risk posed by a bath or shower tray.  

Introducing the Bath & Shower Pendulum Tester

Accurate assessment of the slip risk posed by a bath or shower enables those with a duty of care to take appropriate measures to manage and reduce the hazard.  To this end, Munro has worked to develop an adapted British Pendulum Tester (BPT) which is suitable for use in confined spaces, and in particular, suitable for use in the bath.

This adaptation has been achieved by removing the rear leg of the BPT, and incorporating three vacuum mounted pads to maintain stability.  This adaptation enables the BPT to fit into narrow spaces (such as a bath), without compromising instrument stability.  The use of vacuum pads also reduces of the risk of surface damage previously posed by the pointed feet of the traditional BPT. 

The Bath & Shower Pendulum Tester exhibits the accuracy and repeatability of the traditional BPT, and also complies with the relevant British & International Standards.

Reducing the Risk of Slips, Trips & Falls

Upon testing, if a bath or shower exhibits a low Pendulum Test Value (PTV), steps should be taken to address the risk of a slip.  Measures may include:

  • Grab Rails: Installing grab rails helps bathroom users move into and around the bath/shower more safely.  A variety of grab rails are available, and advice should be sought as to the most appropriate configuration given a particular situation.
  • Cleaning: Inadequate or inappropriate cleaning may compromise the slip resistance of a bath or shower.  Build up of soap scum and body fat in particular create slippery surfaces which routine cleaning may be unable to rectify.  Specialist cleaning products, specifically designed to combat these issues, and improve the slip  resistance of baths/showers are available and may be considered for use.  
  • Material: In some cases, the surface material used in the construction of the bath may be inherently slippery.  Ideally the inherent PTV of a bath/shower should be assessed and discussed with a the manufacturer before a bathroom suite is installed.  In cases where the slip risk has been identified post-installation, consideration should be given as to whether one of the measures listed above would be sufficient to mitigate the slip risk posed by a particular material, or whether a new bath/shower tray is required.

Many sources may recommend the installation of an anti-slip bath mat to remedy low slip resistance.  Whilst this may be suitable in some circumstances, consideration should be given to the fact that these mats are difficult to clean and may harbour harmful bacteria.  Further, the mats themselves can pose a trip risk.  

In all cases, an individual situation should be assessed to ensure the most suitable methods of managing slip risks in the bathroom are employed.  

For further information on anything mentioned above, please get in touch by phone  (+44(0)20 8551 7000) or email (info@munroinstruments.com).