Safety testing of play surfaces
There is an increasing rise of playground and play facility related injuries in South Africa.
It is incumbent on facility owners to ensure that the facility they provide is safe for children to use. Further, wear and tear or vandalism means that a regular regime of safety inspections must be carried out on all facilities provided.
One of the highest risk areas for children is the surfacing which surrounds the play equipment and its shock absorption. The good news is this can be tested to assess
how safe it, ensuring the surface meets the minimum standards required by South African Standards Organisation (SANAS).
Shock absorption is assessed in terms of Head Injury Criteria (HIC), a piece of equipment designed to test how hard the playing surface is.
In the pictures below, UJSportslabs is conducting testing for Johannesburg City Parks who embarked on funding for the testing of play facilities in a number of Townships in Johannesburg.
Why HIC testing is important:
Testing determines the impact attenuation of any given surface and it helps quantify the risk of severe head injury, like concussion and traumatic brain injury.