European Playground Regulations
All play equipment and Safer Surfaces are regulated by BSEN 1176. The European standards covering general and specific safety requirements and test methods for playground equipment including swings, slides, runways, carousels, rocking equipment and guidance on installation, inspection, maintenance and operation. Our play equipment is designed to meet BSEN 1176 standards the surfaces to BSEN 1177.
All equipment manufactured for use in public parks, schools, commercial facilities, pubs, restaurants, community areas and shopping centres should be designed using these regulations. Equipment that complies will carry a plate showing the relevant BSEN standard. In the case of safer surfaces these will be certified to show the fall heights to which each thickness type has been tested.
FHOF – Free Height of Fall is the greatest vertical distance from the clearly intended body support to the impact area below. This determines the type, distance and thickness of safer surfacing needed.
EN1176 Playground Equipment Standard
The European Standards for Playground Equipment (EN 1176 and EN 1177) have been published to harmonise existing European standards.
The Standard (EN 1176) is published in 7 parts:
- Part 1 General safety requirements and test methods
- Part 2 Additional specific safety requirements and test methods for swings
- Part 3 Additional specific safety requirements and test methods for slides
- Part 4 Additional specific safety requirements and test methods for runways
- Part 5 Additional specific safety requirements and test methods for carousels
- Part 6 Additional specific safety requirements and test methods for rocking equipment
- Part 7 Guidance for installation, inspection, maintenance and operation
A further four parts are scheduled to be introduced over the next few years. EN 1177 impact absorbing playground surfacing: safety requirements and test methods. EN 1176 Part 7 and EN 1176 were published in 1997. A booklet is available from RoSPA which attempts to explain in everyday terms for the interested lay person the main new requirements and to identify changes from the old British (BS 5696) and German (DIN 7926) standards where these may be assessed on site. In the event of legal claims or disputes, reference should be made to the full Standards, copies of which are available from BSI Publications, 389 Chiswick Road, London, W4 4AL. RoSPA’s Play Safety Department provides advice and information on playground management and the safety of indoor and outdoor play areas.
Funding & Planning Your Playground
There are many many factors to take into consideration when planning your playground. Here are some of the topics for consideration. If you need further assistance with planning your playground please contact us.
How to Raise Funds for Children’s Play
There are a number of opportunities where funding for local community play or sports can be obtained. To assist you in your campaign we have listed below some useful organisations and grant schemes complete with their website links.
- www.ladyallentrust.org www.rswt.org
- www.communityfoundations.org.uk www.wren.org.uk
- www.biglotteryfund.org.uk www.hmrc.gov.uk
- www.awardsforall.org.uk www.ltcs.org.uk
- www.entrust.org.uk www.sportsmatch.co.uk
- www.londonplay.org.uk www.sportengland.org
Designing Play Areas
Children’s play areas are far from being the simple provision most people believe. A swing, a slide and a climbing frame are not, on their own, of great benefit to the growing child. To provide fully for children requires a sophisticated approach to siting, design and selection of equipment and surfacing.
The opportunity to play creatively in high-quality environments is essential to the development of children. Through their play they acquire skills and abilities which can be learnt in no other way. Children cannot provide these opportunities for themselves – adults must do it for them. The quality of what we provide affects the quality of what we provide affects the quality of what children learn. The greater the complexity of that environment the greater the quality of learning.
The provision of playgrounds should always be undertaken in consultation with children and parents. The process of understanding their environmental and how they can affect it is a crucial element in the child’s development.