Playgrounds 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 centres etc.
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 4422.2016 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