It’s true; the installation of safety surfacing on playgrounds isn’t a legal requirement here in the UK. The use of specialist playground flooring is, however, widely recommended by various safety organisations and government bodies.
These include groups like The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents, the British Standards Information group, The National Playing Fields Association and the Child Accident Prevention Trust.
In the Department of Culture, Media and Sport’s ‘Playground Safety Guidelines,’ the document cites playground flooring as one of the key design elements of a safe playground.
Playground flooring benefits
It’s important to understand that a safety surface can’t in itself reduce the number of accidents that happen. In fact, about 30% of fall injuries occur purely as a result of the playground’s equipment.
There is, however, no doubt that the severity of injuries caused from falls onto the playground surface are reduced dramatically by the provision of an impact absorbing protective surface – particularly in the case of (for example) head injuries.
Every thickness of surfacing offered should have a certificate from a critical fall height test, carried out in accordance with the methods described in British Standards EN 1177. These tests should also be carried out by a certified, accredited test house like Smithers Rapra.
Always ask your supplier of safety surfacing for their test certificates, and ensure that the product is installed in accordance with appropriate test methods. Always check what base preparation has been used in the testing and consider how that compares with your site’s existing ground conditions or any proposed ground works.
If you’d like to learn more about the benefits of playground flooring or would like to discuss an upcoming project, get in touch with the team here at PlaySmart!
You can fill in the form here, or call us on 01564 742 811.