Effective 30 August 2017, AS 4685.0:2017 has been released to supersede AS4486.1:1997 as the playground standards relating to development, installation, inspection, maintenance and operation.
AS4685.0 Requires Your Playgrounds and Products to be tested every Three (3) years.To As4422:2016
Testing in accordance with this Standard shall be undertaken by a laboratory that fulfils the requirements of AS ISO/IEC 17025.
1 A laboratory may demonstrate that it fulfils the requirements of AS ISO/IEC 17025 through accreditation as a signatory member of the International Laboratory Accreditation
Cooperation (ILAC), Mutual Recognition Arrangement (MRA) with a relevant scope of
accreditation to cover the tests being performed.
2 In Australia, the signatory member of the ILAC MRA is the National Association of Testing Authorities, Australia (NATA).
Product Testing Requires a Company that is ISO17025 NATA/ILAC certified to perform this testing www.acoustoscan.com.au/ Acousto-Scan can do this testing.
Playtest regularly receives enquiries from playground owners regarding playground surfacing and how to determine if their surfacing is compliant with the Australian Standard. Often these enquiries have resulted because the playground owner has been asked to produce test results, certificates of compliance, has purchased new equipment, or has taken over ownership/management of an existing playground.
The Drop Test
Evidence of adequate playground surfacing may be required for the licensing processes of Education and Care Services. Additionally, local councils, schools and commercial playgrounds also benefit from monitoring the performance of the playground surfacing. A drop test will determine if the playground surfacing is continuing to cushion the impact of a fall from the equipment provided in the playground.
A drop test is usually conducted for solid playground surfaces. Loose fill surfaces installed in playgrounds need to be maintained to appropriate minimum depth to ensure ongoing compliance with the Australian Standard (check the test results of the loose fill product for the minimum depths).
A drop test is recommended following installation of the solid playground surfacing to confirm that the installation meets the critical fall height rating in accordance with the Australian Standard.
Select a drop testing company that calibrates their rigs to Australian Standard AS4422:2016 and can provide documentation as evidence of calibration to the Australian Standard.
Further Points to Consider
- It is important to understand what the test results mean and how they will support you in the event of an accident.
- Be present at the time of playground surfacing installation so you can monitor what is being laid. A post installation drop test can put your mind at rest.
- It is good practice to have a drop test conducted every 3 years to monitor the performance of your solid playground surfacing and ensure that your surface is performing over its lifespan.