As the weather changes, your playground flooring needs to be able to provide the same level of protection. Increased levels of rain and frost can create hazards on the playground that may lead to accidents and even injury if not met responsibly.
Truly child-safe playground flooring needs to consider the risks inherent to active play. We all know how running, jumping, and clambering on playground equipment with less-than-ideal weather conditions will eventually lead to a slip, trip, or fall.
As providers of outdoor safety flooring, PlaySmart is here to provide safety tips and risk-reduction playground ideas for primary schools, public parks, or any other play area looking to invest in extra safety precautions to reduce the risks of play.
BS 7188 (1998) Testing
For our ‘Accident Smart’ guarantee, safety surfaces designed and manufactured with slip-resistance in mind have to be tested in a range of different conditions.
British Standards (BS) are regulations that control and regulate manufacturers and installers in a variety of ways. BS 7188 was originally outlined in 1998 to cover a range of safety precautions relevant to outdoor and indoor surfacing, including slip resistance, indentation, abrasive wear, and other safety surfacing standards.
Independent rounds of tests to ensure a slip-resistance score of over 40 in both wet and dry conditions are needed to pass British industry standards for slip-resistance. Using an assessment such as the Pendulum test to measure the surface’s friction resistance to pressure in both clinical and non-clinical settings, surfaces are determined as safe for various activities.
Proper accreditation has been achieved by many of PlaySmart’s playground surfaces under supervision from LaboSport. EcoSmart and FireSmart rubber grass mats are market leaders in safety surfacing and have been designed in conjunction with our patented SmartPlay system for slip-resistance and fall cushioning effects.
Other surfaces that offer excellent slip-resistance and foot grip among their primary selling points include:
Textured Surfaces for Extra Grip
Loose-fill ground cover like natural or rubber playground bark can create a hazard as individual pieces are lost and scattered over time as the surface is used. Therefore, their potential to provide strong slip resistance as a safety surface is limited. Bonded rubber mulch is wear-resistant with our 5-year product and 10-year installation guarantee to provide proper protection throughout your surface’s lifetime.
The surface texture of rubber mulch is also fully buggy and wheelchair accessible. Even on inclines, our rubber surfaces provide grip so wheels and shoes alike don’t slide or slip. EPDM overlays of smaller grain rubber crumb flooring are popular for high-traffic areas where wet pour rubber paving is becoming worn down, reducing grip. The rubber topper layer is able to restore your surface’s slip-resistance to upgrade overall safety for all.
Avoid Puddling with Water Permeable Surfaces
Slip-resistant texturing makes your playground safer in many ways, but surface water and puddling can still pose a hazard in less than ideal weather conditions. Corkeen is an innovative use of cork’s natural absorbency to create a consistent, safe surface year-round.
With 90% natural cork and 10% secure non-toxic binder, Corkeen surface make use of the porous sustainable flooring material to prevent surface runoff. The drainage capacity of the Corkeen system means that the surface layer remains dry for safe play and the water is able to safety circulate and evaporate naturally. The drainage system is a real innovation in child safe playground surfacing, quickly absorbing any spills to keep kids playing safely!
If your site uses typical non-permeable surfaces like concrete or traditional tarmac, as well as not providing proper fall protection, there are also risks of puddling and even flooding, especially in urban areas with a lot of non-porous surfaces. You can avoid these problems by properly considering your site’s risks in all conditions. Why not discuss the unique safety needs of your outdoor area with our experts and find your solution with PlaySmart?
Safe Running Track Surface Materials
Slip resistance is incredibly important for sports surfaces like athletics tracks or outdoor courts. Requirements for running track surface materials are strict for professional sports areas but can be overlooked in recreational areas despite being no less important to protect athletes in a park as it is in a stadium.
Running tracks should provide a flat, stable, impact-absorbent surface for running, reducing stress on the feet and legs, but should also be able to have a grip that withstands a variety of weather conditions.
Daily mile tracks designed for regular use by children should be especially careful of the running track materials they choose. Worn surfaces, cracking edges, and potholes can pose serious hazards to children using the paths for their daily exercise.
Different materials can be used for running tracks, choices can be made for aesthetic reasons as well as safety concerns to match the environment of the area while still providing protection. Hybrid grass and artificial grass running tracks are very popular on sports fields, looking natural against the grass while reducing slipping risks. Artificial grass protects from mud and pudding that cause slips on natural grass, and when falls do occur, the soft texture of PlaySmart’s synthetic grass fibres prevents grass burns and when well maintained doesn’t pose risks like stones or sticks on the track.
Stay Accident Smart with PlaySmart’s Slip-Resistant Flooring
Keep your playgrounds safe from slips and falls with the smart choice of flooring options that take into account safety surfacing standards. Don’t overlook safety, get in touch with PlaySmart today with the contact form at the top of the page, book a call with our pre-sales team, or get your Free Quick Quote.