A commercial kitchen can be a hazardous work environment with a relatively large number of staff in a small work area usually in a rush to produce a result and often handling hot, heavy and sharp objects. Add this to a floor that can be wet, oily or soiled with spillages and it is little wonder that a less than ideal floor selection can become a disastrous OH&S problem for a Chef or Manager
Yes (AS 4586) however this only advises how to conduct and classify slip resistance tests. Only HB 197 published by Standards Australia and the CSIRO provides recommendations of how much slip resistance is required for different applications. This includes a number of specific minimum recommendations for commercial kitchens of different types. The recommendations include the use of profiled surface tiles with a V rating for several types of kitchens as well as the R12 recommendation.
The handbook is the only published document in Australia that provides substantial, independent advice on minimum slip resistance requirements. For this reason many specifiers decide that compliance with this handbook is the only way to ensure that they can defend a floor selection. Others have determined, either by their own investigations or from a track record of successful use, to install other tiles. The most popular alternative selection is the R13 textured tile, which some believe makes up for not having a V rating profile by being a category higher i.e. R13 rather than R12.
The V-rating (V4,V6, V8 or V10) describes the amount of profile (peaks and troughs) on a tiles surface. Until the publication of handbook HB 197, very few commercial kitchens in Australia used tiles with surface profiles. The handbook recommendation is that a V4 profile must be used for most commercial kitchen applications including Hotel, Restaurant, Fast Food, Industrial, University and Contract Catering Kitchens. The determination to use other than a V-rated profiled surface tile is ultimately up to the specifier and there is little doubt that textured (rather than profiled) tiles of R13 maximum slip resistance rating will provide a high performance slip resistant floor.