Children who spend time on Aussie playgrounds can experience a variety of psychological, social, and health benefits. Children can solve problems, assess their athletic prowess, and develop their social abilities on playgrounds. Playgrounds are also places where kids can engage in unstructured free play, which is essential for their development.
Anyone designing a playground must have a thorough understanding of the content and application of the Australia Playground Standards throughout the designing process. However, it’s beneficial for everyone involved in a playground project to understand certain fundamental principles of quality and guide to playground safety. So, the best quality product is purchased to install in the park.
The current Australian standard for playground equipment, AS 4685:2021, was released in 2004 and revised in 2021. Some of the adjustments made were essential, and many of them closely follow global trends in playground child safety. The standard is divided into eight parts. This article gives a comprehensive overview of the most important concepts, primarily from Part One, which addresses general safety requirements as well as test methods.
Since the new Australian Safety standard for Playgrounds was introduced, there has been a massive surge in the design and creation of modern, thrilling, challenging, and significantly more brave playgrounds and play equipment in Australia.
The adoption of the European Standards as the basis for the new Australian Standards also had the effect of “greenlighting” a number of esteemed European suppliers who, up until that point, had frequently clashed with the Australian Standards when their play equipment products didn’t meet the local playground standards.
A minimal space area is needed for the Aussie playground equipment to be used safely. It consists of equipment-occupied space, falling space, and free space. The number, kind, and height of playground equipment used in a play area are all influenced by the minimum available area.
The new rules aim to specify additional safety requirements for Aussie playground equipment that are installed permanently for kid use. The following components are covered under the new standards:
Slide Safety Standards
- The width, lateral or side protection, guarding section, length, and angle of starting of the slide.
- Tunnel slide position and length in terms of clearance and position.
- Free space in the run-out section
Swing Safety Standards
- The minimal ground clearance for single-use, group, and contact swings with vertical tyres as seats is included in the ground clearance section.
- The load capacity of swing equipment.
- Minimum space between each swing and its lateral stability.
Cableways Safety Standards
- Grip, the material used for construction, sag correction.
- Suspension alignment to avoid strangulation.
- FHoF measurement.
- Ground clearance, hanging types, and seating arrangements.
See-saws Safety Standards
- Installation and testing of hand support.
- Equipment should be designed to avoid entrapment.
- Minimum ground clearance of 230mm.
- Falling space measurement
- Maximum seat and slop area.
- Anchor covering
Most Aussie playground equipment is made keeping Safety Standards in mind. Playground safety regulations in Australia can help you contribute to maintain the playground a safer place for kids and other users even if manufacturers and suppliers have no control over how their playground equipment is utilised.