Who are the HSL?

The HSL are the Health and Safety Executive (HSE)’s Laboratory, and working with the regulator gives us a unique insight into workplace health and safety.

Learn more about the HSL

What is the GRIP Test?

The Health & Safety Laboratory (HSL) have developed the GRIP rating scheme for the slip resistance of footwear. The purpose of the GRIP scheme is to allow footwear users to identify suitable slip resistant footwear as a control measure to reduce their risk of slipping accidents.

Why do we need it?

The European PPE Directive recognises the need for slip resistance as a protective property of footwear. Demonstration of compliance with this requirement is often claimed through the use of mechanical tests. One such mechanical test (BS EN ISO 13287: 2012) forms the basis of the commonly used standards BS EN ISO 20345:2011, BS EN ISO 20346:2004 + A1: 2007 and BS EN ISO 20347:2012. These standards provide a minimum level of compliance, the GRIP goes beyond this to provide valid data for use in selecting slip resistant footwear as a control measure to prevent slips.

Suitable footwear can significantly reduce the risk of slipping, but selecting something appropriate for your workforce can be challenging. Footwear rated using the GRIP scheme has been shown to significantly reduce slips in a wide range of industries. Rob Shaw HSL

How should we interpret the results?

Footwear selection should be informed by a risk assessment. For low hazard environments One Star or Two Star footwear is a sensible way to protect your staff from slips. Where slips are known to occur, Three Star or Four Star footwear will reduce the occurrence of slipping. In the most challenging workplaces, Five Star footwear may be necessary to adequately control slip risk.

By certifying our styles using the HSL GRIP Test we have demonstrated our commitment to raising the safety bar in our principal markets which are Utilities and Construction. As a manufacturer we feel it is our responsibility to ensure that the recent industry momentum in reducing slips, trips and falls and their related injuries is not lost. The certification process has been a beneficial learning exercise for both the HSL and Rock Fall. Richard Noon Rock Fall

Points to consider

The effectiveness of rated footwear should be monitored as part of the risk assessment review process. If, for example, slips occur in Two Star footwear, you should consider upgrading to footwear with a higher rating.

The GRIP scheme only deals with the slip resistance of footwear. Whilst slips are a major issue, other safety requirements arising from risk assessments, such as toe protection, should be considered in parallel with the GRIP ratings when selecting footwear for use as Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).

Do you need a HSL contact?

Rob Shaw is the Technical Team Lead for Falls Prevention. He will answer any questions you may have regarding the HSL GRIP scheme.

Email: robert.shaw@hsl.gsi.gov.uk
Tel: 01298 218339

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