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.
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 from playground equipment.
The quality of the flooring substrate can change over time due to more intensive use, weather influences or material ageing.
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 Playsafe impact protection slabs are documented with a test certificate, to prove their compliance.
Certification can also be supplied with all Playsafe products if required. This will certify the playground safety flooring to a specific fall height.
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.
CRITICAL FALL HEIGHTS
Playground equipment comes in various heights. Impact protection surfacing is installed to meet various critical fall heights. Our shock-absorbing Impact protection slabs are suitable for any fall height ranging from 0,60 – 3,00m.
The critical fall height is defined as the lowest fall height that generates a HIC value of 1000. Each Slab is individually tested to determine its Head Injury Criterion (HIC) value. When installed, the slabs are pre-certified to meet criteria in accordance with DIN EN 1177:2008; the international standard which requires shock-absorbent surfacing for a fall height of 0,60m or higher.
Impact protection slab thicknesses correlate to different critical fall heights. The higher the fall the thicker the slab needs to be.
e.g. An Impact Protection Slab with a thickness of 70mm provides impact protection for a 2,10m fall.
The South African Standard (SANS 51177:2010) for critical fall height has the identical implementation and is a direct adoption of the International Standard EN 1177:2008.
SBR & EPDM BENEFITS
Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomers (EPDM) is a high density synthetic rubber which is weather resistant and absorbs less solar heat. It is extremely versatile with the ability to better withstand temperatures associated with environmental factors such as UV weathering and water swell.
Styrene-butadiene Rubber (SBR) is produced from black rubber tyres that are stripped of their metal reinforcing and then mechanically shredded into granules. These rubber granules are graded and available in different sizes, that can be coloured and used as an economical and surfacing.
While EPDM offers a wider range of colours and is more weather resistant, SBR is a more economical surfacing option.
WET POUR and IMPACT PROTECTION SLABS offers a combination of SBR and EPDM options to give you the best of both rubber products.
WET POUR and IMPACT PROTECTION SLABS applications can accommodate an installation of SBR as the cushion/base layer and EPDM as the wear/top layer.
Impact protection slabs are quick and simple to install. Click below to download installation instructions.
CARE & MAINTENANCE
Rubber is known for its durability and its ability to last for decades, even under extreme weather conditions.
Maintenance is low due to high-quality materials being used in our surfacing.
Click below to download the relevant cleaning instructions.
In the unlikely event that your rubber flooring is permanently damaged, please contact us to assist and advise.
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.
We designed the playground, and wanted protective rubber to match the sandpit sand. Playsafe was apply to assist us by mixing three EPDM colours together for the wear layer, and we used recycled rubber mulch for a thicker cushioning underneath. They delivered a great service and product, so our client was as happy with the result as we were.
The purpose of therapeutic garden spaces at the Nelson Mandela Hospital was to provide relief from the stress and emotional trauma of a hospital environment. The landscape design intent was to create welcoming garden spaces for children that will bring joy into their lives and assist in bringing them back to good health. We specifically chose this product as it offered a palette of bright colours that are UV stable. The longevity of the colours is what sets it apart from all other available rubberised floor surfaces.
The success of a floor depends on whether it is fit for purpose and on its appearance. This is the reason why the design (i.e. its lines, contours, colours, shape, texture or material) may become an important factor.
Playsafe playground wet pour EPDM offers the most design freedom, as any design can seamlessly be incorporated into the floor. This flooring ensures that the colours stay vibrant, while the wet pour application is a designers dream and any design and colour combination is possible.