Slip testing legal update

Slip test - getting the test done

Slip and fall risk: using the pendulum test

The test helps identify risk and illuminate a legal problem.  The pendulum test has a history in legal cases having been accepted in, for example, the Supreme Courts of NSW, Queensland and ACT, County Court Victoria and in other places (see some cases below). The pendulum test is part of what needs to be done to understand slip risk.  There are many factors.  These include the physical context such as layout, lighting, surface changes, and the behavioral context such as gait, speed, and familiarity.


Legal cases using the pendulum test

Some legal cases where the pendulum test has been used are listed below.  These include falls indoor and outdoor, in public and private places, workplaces and on a variety of surfaces.  The test could potentially be used on:

Painted surfaces
Stone, etc


Case name


-         A school child’s parent fell on a painted road within a school.

Garzo v Liverpool/Campbelltown Christian School [2012] NSWCA 151

Appeal dismissed (thus in favor of the school). 

-         A tenant fell on kitchen tiles. 

Gray v Queensland Housing Commission [2012] QSC 276

For the defendant.

-         A cleaner fell on painted stairs in a shopping centre.

Korlevski v Lea Group North (Vic) Pty Ltd & Ors [2011] VCC 1168

For the plaintiff.

-         A wedding guest fell on tiles at a reception centre.

Lisa D Marco v Italo-Australian Club (ACT) Limited [2010] ACTSC 28

For the defendant.

-         A visitor to a private home slipped on stairs. 

Boyd v Strata Plan 6758 [2008] NSWDC 1610

For the defendant.

-          A day centre client fell on bathroom tiles. 

Deborah Lee Ezzy v The Uniting Church in Australia Property Trust (NSW) Trading as Wontama Homes for the Aged [2007] NSWDC 204

For the plaintiff.

-         A courier slipped on outdoor checker plate stairs. 

Green v Hanson Construction Materials Pty Ltd [2007] QCA 260

Appeal allowed and damages reduced.

-         A truck driver fell on concrete. 

Ronald Charles Hamilton v Blue Circle Southern Cement Ltd [2006] NSWSC 147

For the defendant.

-         A tenant fell on the floor of a toilet in leased premises.

Gaskell v Denkas Building Services Pty Limited and Others [2006] NSWSC 632

For the defendant.