Standards

Playground Equipment and Surfacing – Australia

Blog

Safety First: AS 4422 (Int):2022 Playground Surfacing and Its Interim Release
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Playgrounds that Embrace All Abilities: AS 1428.1:2021 and Its Impact on Inclusive Design
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AS 16630 (2021): A Game-Changer in Outdoor Fitness Equipment Standards
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The Latest Standard for Skateparks: AS EN 14974 (2021)
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Ensuring Safety and Fun: Australian Standards for Playground Equipment and Surfacing
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Enhancing Safety and Fun: AS 4685 Part 1-6 (2021) Update for Playground Equipment and Surfacing
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Why Is Compliance with Playground Standards Essential?
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News

Twelve playgrounds in Athens to close over safety concerns
Twelve playgrounds in Athens to close over safety concerns
Another playground being removed from park due to neck and head entrapment safety concerns
Another playground being removed from park due to neck and head entrapment safety concerns
Playgrounds are getting a new look
'Playgrounds are getting a new look'
Horrified families find syringes and medical waste washed up on NSW beach directly across from playground
Horrified families find syringes and medical waste washed up on NSW beach directly across from playground
Child suffers life-altering injuries after dog attack on gated playground
Child suffers life-altering injuries after dog attack on gated playground
Vandal’s torch playground and cause £25,000 worth of damages and decimated equipment
Vandal’s torch playground and cause £25,000 worth of damages and decimated equipment
Venomous tiger snake spotted metres from playground in Melbourne
Venomous tiger snake spotted metres from playground in Melbourne
Police warn residents and discourages users of needles after a dozen found at playground
Police warn residents and discourages users of needles after a dozen found at playground
NYC Parks unveils innovative $3.8M restroom project
NYC Parks unveils innovative $3.8M restroom project at Staten Island playground
School officials to replace playground rubber-chip surfacing after determining it unsafe.
School officials to replace playground rubber-chip surfacing after determining it unsafe
City council approves nearly 300k of playground equipment for destroyed park
City council approves nearly 300k of playground equipment for destroyed park
Park begins removing equipment to make room for 4.5 million upgrade project
Park begins removing equipment to make room for 4.5 million upgrade project
“There was inadequate mulch surfacing.” Update on lawsuit against school district for boys’ death fall from slide
“There was inadequate mulch surfacing.” Update on lawsuit against school district for boys’ death fall from slide
Playgrounds to get facelift
Playgrounds to get facelift
demolition debris drifting onto playground
'We just want a resolution.’ Bornhava concerned about demolition debris drifting onto playground
Playground full survivor shares recovery story; expert explains safety guidelines
Playground fall survivor shares recovery story; expert explains safety guidelines
Family sues after 8 year old boy dies flying out of slide and falling 7 feet to the ground at his elementary school
Family sues after 8-year-old boy dies flying out of slide and falling 7 feet to the ground at his elementary school
Toddler playground surface to be replaced after wet-pour colouring causes gaps and tripping hazards
Toddler playground surface to be replaced after wet-pour colouring causes gaps and tripping hazards
China's 200-metre-high aerial playground has people questioning its safety
China's 200-metre-high aerial playground has people questioning its safety
‘We need a push’ beloved adventure playground launches crowdfunder for ‘unique’ new fence
‘We need a push’ beloved 45-year-old playground launches crowdfunder for safety fence upgrades
Work to fill in 35-metre sinkhole on playground to cost £270k
Work to fill in 35-metre sinkhole on playground to cost £270k
Castle playground destroyed by arson fire
Castle playground destroyed by arson fire
Asbestos contamination in playgrounds is ‘just the tip of the iceberg’ warns NSW Greens
Asbestos contamination in playgrounds is ‘just the tip of the iceberg’ warns NSW Greens
Australian playground manufacturer KOMPAN found to have used up to 95% recycled materials in playground equipment
This is how KOMPAN uses up to 95% recycled materials in playground
Common mistake by parents that are harming Aussie kids
Common mistake by parents that are harming Aussie kids: ‘ Really big problem”
‘Risky play’ can be good for kids, paediatricians say in new guidance
‘Risky play’ can be good for kids, paediatricians say in new guidance
Glow in the dark playground opens in Farmers Branch
Glow in the dark playground opens in Farmers Branch
Plane-loving kids can now live out their dreams of being a pilot with an aviation themed playground in the UK.jpg
Plane-loving kids can now live out their dreams of being a pilot with an aviation themed playground in the UK
Parks with the best playgrounds for climbers
What parks have the best playgrounds for young climbers?
Post moody strata forced to remove sign outside playground restricting public access
Post moody strata forced to remove sign outside playground restricting public access
Immersive 15,000-square-foot ‘playground for adults’ opens in Las Vegas
Immersive 15,000-square-foot ‘playground for adults’ opens in Las Vegas
Parents and librarians face off online over whether playgrounds belong in libraries or not
Parents and librarians face off online over whether playgrounds belong in libraries or not
Child safe lock finally installed in playground after two drownings, years after multiple safety concerns were ignored
Child safe lock finally installed in playground after two drownings, years after multiple safety concerns were ignored
Mum lucky to be alive after tree limb falls on her in freak playground accident
Mum lucky to be alive after tree limb falls on her in freak playground accident
Boys and girls club of Long Beach surprised with new eco-friendly playground made from recycled toys
Boys and girls club of Long Beach surprised with new eco-friendly playground made from recycled toys
Candy Cane Themed playground receives new playground equipment
Candy Cane Themed playground receives new playground equipment
Damages claim over boys fall from monkey bars is dismissed as judge says ‘accidents can and will happen’
Damages claim over boys fall from monkey bars is dismissed as judge says ‘accidents can and will happen’
Dismay as zip line playground plagued by vandalism in recent years now completely removed
Dismay as zip line playground plagued by vandalism in recent years now completely removed
Playground surface at new elementary school up in the air
Playground surface at new elementary school up in the air
– Inclusive playground committee selling bricks for new playground to raise funds
Inclusive playground committee selling memorialise/legacy bricks for new playground to raise funds

Australian Standards for Playground Equipment and Surfacing

The Australian Standards for Playground Equipment and Surfacing are an advisory set of guidelines that are not regulatory on their own, Standards are voluntary;

  • They are a national recommendation on minimum requirements for best practice
  • They are not mandatory for public and private play areas
  • Playgrounds provided by schools and childcare centres usually have to comply with policies under the State or Territory relevant Department of Education or equivalent
  • Although they are not mandatory. they may (highly likely) be referred to in court action against providers of play equipment
  • They cover specific guidelines on the design, installation, inspection and maintenance 
  • A playground owner has a duty of care to all users and visitors and a reasonable Standard of Care should be applied to the playground to prevent injury or loss.

There is no requirement for the public to comply with the Standards. However, State and Commonwealth Governments often refer to Australian Standards (AS) or joint Australian/New-Zealand Standards (AS/NZS) in their legislation.

When this happens, these Standards can become mandatory. In addition, AS are sometimes incorporated into legal documents, and considered as a ‘benchmark of acceptability’. 

 PSIA conducts its operations in accordance with the Australian Standard, ‘best practice; and Occupational Health and Safety Act. 

Current Standards

The below Standards can be purchased directly from Sai Global.

Standard Year Description
AS 4685.0 2017 Playground Equipment and Surfacing. Part 0: Development, installation, inspection, maintenance and operation.
AS 4685.1 2021 Playground equipment and surfacing. Part 1: General safety requirements and test methods
AS 4685.2 2021 Playground equipment and surfacing. Part 2: Additional safety requirements and test methos for swings
AS 4685.3 2021 Playground equipment and surfacing. Part 3: Additional safety requirements and test method for slides
AS 4685.4 2021 Playground equipment and surfacing. Part 4: Additional safety requirements and test method for cableways
AS 4685.5 2021 Playground equipment and surfacing. Part 5: Additional safety requirements and test method for carousels
AS 4685.6 2021 Playground equipment and surfacing. Part 6: Additional safety requirements and test method for rocking equipment
AS 4685.11 2014 Playground equipment and surfacing. Part 11: Additional safety requirements and test method for spatial network
AS 4422 2022 (Int) Playground surfacing - Specifications, requirements and test method
AS 16630 2021 Permanently installed outdoor fitness equipment - Safety requirements and test methods
AS EN 14974 2021 Skateparks - Safety requirements and test methods
AS EN 16899 2020 Sports and recreational equipment - Parkour equipment - Safety requirements and test methods

Keeping Standards Up to Date

To maintain their currency, Standards are periodically reviewed and new editions are published. Between editions, amendments may be issued. Standards may also be withdrawn. It is important you ensure you are referring to the current Standards, which should include any amendments which may have been published since the Standard was purchased.

StandardsWatch is another easy way to keep Standards up-to-date, a subscription offered by Sai Global.

Training Courses

Level 1-3 Comprehensive

Gain advanced skills in inspection and hazard identification to ensure the utmost safety for children at play.

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Level 1-2 Operational

Become proficient in the day-to-day operational aspects of playground safety. Equip yourself with the knowledge and skills needed to ensure playgrounds run smoothly and securely for children’s enjoyment.

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Level 1 Routine Visual

Become a certified inspector for conducting regular visual assessments of playgrounds. Learn essential skills to maintain safe and enjoyable play environments for children.

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