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Standards Australia adopts amendments to AS 4685 Playground equipment and surfacing

Standards Australia adopts amendments to AS 4685 Playground equipment and surfacing
February 8, 2021

Supporting the operation of safer playgrounds, Standards Australia has advised of the adoption of standards to the series of AS 4685, Playground equipment and surfacing, Parts 1-6, with modifications made to reflect industry and community needs.

Aligning with international standards to create safer environments for children’s free play, the updated AS 4685, Playground equipment and surfacing, series has been adjusted to provide clarification around height and free fall requirements with the objective to assist in reducing the risk of child playground related injuries.

Commenting on the changes, Roland Terry-Lloyd, Head of Standards Development at Standards Australia, noted “playgrounds are the pillar of many Australian communities. This series is a great example of how Standards Australia are supporting our communities by providing the tools to build quality outdoor playgrounds for our children to enjoy.”

In a 2017 review, research showed 8.3% of child hospital visits were injuries related to falling from playground equipment.

Professor David Eager, Chair of the committee responsible for the standards, noted “these standards are an important tool in how we develop our children’s exposure to managed risk by eliminating deaths and serious injuries, while allowing the design of playgrounds that are fun, exciting and developmental.”

With falls being the most common cause of injury related to playgrounds, the changes across the series of standards aim to support safe practice in supervised early childhood settings by guiding manufactures, suppliers and designers. Further changes include consideration of the safety of playground equipment materials under Australian weather conditions.

Professor Eager added “many Australian parents probably aren’t aware there are a range of recommended standards incorporated within the design of playgrounds that protect their children during playtime.

“These design elements assist in minimising risk, helping to keep children safe while supporting their ability to learn and explore.”

Concluding, Terry-Lloyd stated “Standards Australia are proud to provide guidance that encourages children to use free play as a way to learn and discover while in a safe environment.”

Standards aim to guide manufacturers, suppliers and designers around the requirements for playground equipment, with intent of minimising injury due to height and free falling.

Standards Australia acknowledge that play is an essential part of children’s development with outdoor playgrounds providing a place for children to learn about risk, social behaviour and independence.

For further information go to the following links.

www.kidsafewa.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/Playground-Research-Report.pdf

www.paediatricinjuryoutcomes.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/Australian-child-injury-report_FINAL-070617.pdf

www.kidsafewa.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/Playground-Research-Report.pdf

Image credit Standards Australia.

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