are today designed to provide challenges and stimulation to children
as well as the traditional entertainment and distraction. They have
always contained an element of risk for the child, and in this increasingly
litigeous society can now present a liability to the proprietor.
Falls, from equipment or on their own, are a major cause of injury
in the playground and the failure to provide a suitable soft fall
surface accounts for the majority of playground injuries. Installation
of suitable energy absorbing surfaces will reduce the number and
severity of playground injuries.
An Australian Standard ASNZS
4422 introduced in September 1996 was designed to cater particularly
for the childcare industry with respect to safety surfacing in children's
play areas and may be used for the purpose of designing and specifying
soft fall installations. Compliance with this Standard would be
a major factor in satisfying a duty of care responsibility. The
Standard is also applicable to playgrounds in public areas such
as around children's play equipment in parks, restaurants, tourist
Playground soft fall surfacing
materials such as shock absorbing rubber, bark chips etc may be
tested and certified to this Standard by Acousto-Scan. For details
of these tests see Testing to ASNZS 4422. NATA endorsed laboratory and on site testing is offered by the Company
as well as testing to other relevant Standards eg ASTM 1292:1992.
The Laboratory can be contacted
to arrange this testing by fax, telephone or email.
Studies into shock absorption
mechanisms and measurement of Head Injury Criterion
J.I.Dunlop, (1996) A new technique
for measuring the dynamic moduli of polymeric foams, J. Polymer
Sci. B Polymer Physics 34, 1155-1158
J.I.Dunlop (1999) Verification
of the HIC algorithm, J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 106 1177