With many product options available, we would like to educate our clients on the various flooring products we offer, ensuring the most fit for purpose flooring is selected that meets the budget. Information and education will result in an ability to make the best decisions. If you are still not sure which product suits your needs then please contact us.
CRITICAL FALL HEIGHT LEGISLATION
The South African standard (SANS 51177:2010) for critical fall height has the identical implementation and is a direct adoption of the international EN Standard 1177:2008.
Playsafe impact protection slabs adhere to these standards when specified correctly. In the event of an injury, or the death of a minor in a playground as the result of a fall, the organisation with a certified Playsafe floor could use the SANS standard in compensation litigation.
The SANS 51177: 2010 standard is a minimum standard imposed by the “Duty of Care” application of the law. This law is applicable to all public playgrounds, schools, municipalities, entertainment centres, nursery schools etc; where a 3rd party is involved, regardless of whether there is supervision. Beneath all playground equipment with a free fall height of more than 60cm and/or equipment causing a forced movement on the body of the user (e.g. swings, slides, rocking equipment, cable ways and carousels), there must be impact protection surfacing over the impact area.
The Act states that surfaces that do not comply with the Act are: grass; artificial grass with or without sand; cement / clay pavers; tar surfacing; plain natural surfaces such as ground and soil.
HEAD INJURY CRITERION
Head Injury Criterion (HIC), is an international measure for the likelihood of a head injury arising from an impact.
The HIC–Meter consists of a metal sphere (a dummy head), that is fitted with various certified acceleration sensors. The HIC–value is calculated by measuring acceleration during a fall and measuring the impact when the sphere hits the ground.
By dropping a sphere on the floor from various heights, you can measure to which fall height the fall surface has a sufficient impact absorbing value.
For impact protection materials on playgrounds, the maximum HIC value is 1000. At a HIC of 1000, there is a 90% probability of a moderate head injury to the average adult.
This upper limit ensures that virtually no head injuries with permanent damage can be expected. It is important to remember: the lower the HIC value, the higher the protection for the child’s head.
MEASURING OR TESTING CRITICAL FALL HEIGHTS
The HIC meter is used for testing fall surfaces in playground equipment.
The quality of the substrate can change over time. For example, sand and dirt, more intensive use, weather influences or material ageing.
The regular execution of an HIC measurement allows you to maintain a constant quality.
If you are not sure of your playground safety then please schedule a time for one of our PLAYSAFE consultant to give you a free HIC test, and the necessary results and recommendations.
In addition to carrying out measurements on playground equipment, the HIC meter is also suitable for carrying out measurements of sports grounds.
The HIC meter has now found its way internationally to inspect Rugby fields and it is possible to carry out the HIC measurements in accordance with the requirements.
PLAYGROUND FLOORING PLACEMENT
The proper placement of playground flooring is essential.
The below points regarding the placement of the flooring is very broad. More detailed information is available on request.
- The protective surfacing should be extended to at least two meters from the equipment in all directions.
- The impact protection flooring should extend in front of and behind a single axis swing, to the distance that is equal to the height of the top bar from which the swing is suspended.
- The playground surfacing should cover a radius that is equal to the height of the suspending chain or rope plus two meters in all directions, for round or multi-axis swings.
The suitability of impact protection slabs made of bonded, permanently elastic recycled rubber granules are documented with a test certificate, to prove their compliance.
Certification can also be supplied with all Playsafe products. This will certify the playground safety flooring to a specific fall height.
If you would like your playground tested and certified, there is a fee applicable on request.
The critical fall height is determined by a test consisting of a series of nine fall tests, in which four increasing fall heights are examined. The critical fall height is defined as the lowest fall height that generates an HIC value of 1000.
The HIC value of 1000 ensures that virtually no head injuries with permanent damage can be expected. It is important to remember: the lower the HIC value, the higher the protection for a child’s head.
ECORUBBA differs from similar locally offered recycled rubber flooring in that the resin binder used, the primer used and the % resin to rubber ratio is significantly higher and the quality of resin and rubber meets international standards.
Ecorubba is Styrene-butadiene rubber (SBR) which comes from used car tyres that are stripped of all their metal reinforcing and then mechanically shredded into tiny granules. These rubber granules are available as different sized rubber mulch or they can be then bound together with a specially formulated flexible polyurethane resin which cures to leave a soft spongy play surface. Ecorubba is suitable for children’s playgrounds and public parks where fall protection is a necessity. It is a physically strong elastomer, has a low compression set, a high tensile strength, incredible elongation and a high resistance to abrasive substances and conditions.
Recycled rubber products have price and environmental advantages over EPDM rubber.
Due to their recycled nature, they are more cost-effective alternatives to products made of synthetic rubber, and their production actually takes non-biodegradable waste out of the environment.
Most commonly Ecorubba is used as the cushioning layer, with the brighter more weather resistant EPDM colours being used as the wear layer.
Playsafe uses EPDM rubber. EPDM – Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomers is a high density synthetic rubber that is extremely versatile with an ability to withstand heat, ageing and is more resistant to water swell, UV and ozone weathering than natural rubber.
PLAYSAFE EPDM differs from similar locally offered rubber flooring in that the rubber and resin binder used, the primer used and the % of resin to rubber ratio is significantly higher and the quality of resin and rubber meets international standards. The EPDM we distribute is the same EPDM that was used on the athletic tracks of the London Olympic Games in 2012 and Usain Bolts 100m world record was set in Berlin on this EPDM floor.
A synthetic rubber is any type of man-made elastomer that is mainly derived from petroleum. Each synthetic rubber offers a unique characteristic and has been developed by industry for specific types of use. Synthetic rubber material offers superior properties such as elongation, tear strength, compression set, fire resistance and in some cases, tensile strength.
The beneficial properties of EPDM for flooring are their availability in a variety of bright colours, their UV and weather resistance and their tolerance to temperature changes. EPDM is used as the top wear layer of many of the Impact Protections Slabs.
Protecting the environment is a strategic priority.
There are many uses for rubber in sustainable construction. Recycled rubber is useful because it does not require the harvesting of rubber, but instead just builds upon already used materials.
Rubber is easy to install as flooring for buildings. The rubber is resistant to fire, wear and fading.
Playsafe Rubber comes from a global re-cycling specialist company that focusses on the production of rubber materials from old tyres. Every year they process and recycle thousands of tons of used tyres. From the raw materials, they produce high-quality granules based on internally developed formulations.
The products are subject to continuous quality testing and further development, where environmental friendly alternatives and ways to further reduce emissions and to protect resources is always at given priority.
CARE & MAINTENANCE
Rubber is known to endure for decades. EPDM is the most weather-proof rubber, and it is thus the obvious choice as the wear layer for an outdoor installation. Relatively little care is required for our rubber products as they do not become brittle in the sun, are flexible and able to adapt to temperature changes, and can withstand sun, rain, wind and snow.
Cleaning is generally unnecessary, and a mop with soapy water is sufficient. Cleaning instructions available on request.
From time to time, there may be an occasion where a playground floor becomes damaged. The impact protections slabs are very cost effective to replace, as they would only need to replace the slabs that are affected.
In the event of damage, please contact us to put you in contact with your nearest installer.
The South African Sport and Play Industry (SASPI) is the authority on sports and playground safety flooring in South Africa.
All Playsafe products and installers adhere to the installation procedures and documents of SASPI which can also be found on the SASPI website.
SASPI has a code of practice for the installation and maintenance of surfacing for playgrounds.
Playsafe is a Principal member of SASPI and Jeremy Stewart, owner of the Playsafe brand and Seamless Flooring Systems is the Chairman of this NGO.