impact testing checks to see whether the playground surface is safe for
children to play on.
Surface Impact Testing
Many fatalities on
playgrounds are as a result of children falling from playground
equipment and colliding with a hard surface below and around the
playground equipment such as grass, concrete, asphalt (tar), paved
bricks, hard or impacted sand etc. These hard and dangerous
surfaces are not acceptable underneath and around playground equipment
and can cause severe head injury or death if a child's head collides
with the hard surface.
One of the most
important safety features on any playground is the impact surfacing or
safety surfacing around and underneath playground equipment. The impact
surface or safety surface absorbs the impact of a child's body or head
when falling from playground equipment. The impact or safety surface
will not totally eliminate or prevent injuries or fractures but
reduces the severity of the injury.
- Dangers of Hard Play Surfaces
The difference safety surfacing can make is
between sustaining severe brain injury with no safety surfacing
provided to slight concussion with safety surfacing being provided.
playground equipment structure higher than 600mm from ground surface
requires impact or safety surfacing. All impact safety surfacing
underneath and around playground equipment must comply with the South
African National standard SANS 51177 - Impact attenuation of playground
surfacing - Determination of critical fall height.
playground safety surfacing installed by service providers must provide
a certificate of compliance with the SANS 51177.
- Requirements for Playground Safety Surface
Installers, Manufacturers and Suppliers
Impact testing of
safety surfaces or impact surfaces must be provided by an approved
testing laboratory or on sight by a playground safety professionals with
surface testing equipment approved and calibrated by an approved
impact testers can be purchased from the Playground Safety Institute for Playground Safety
Professionals. The surface impact testers are available for national
and international distribution. Please contact the Playground Safety Institute for more information.
- Purchasing of Surface Impact Testers