Tests of permanently installed outdoor fitness equipment
“Outdoor fitness” equipment, or “geriatric” or “calisthenics” circuits, started appearing in our country a few years ago and are becoming ever more common in the different green zones of our cities. It is quite common to see permanently installed fitness equipment installed outdoors, in places close to playgrounds. These products were being marketed and installed without any applicable technical standard. They were novel products that appealed to children and adolescents due to their location. This led to an increase in accidents in this type of equipment, as they were not designed in accordance with the ergonomic characteristics of children.
For this reason, it was not until 2015 that the European Committee for Standardisation (CEN) published a standard that included safety and management requirements for this type of circuits and for permanently installed outdoor fitness equipment.
Regardless of the fact that a technical standard, EN 16630, was published in 2015, any product placed on the market must be safe, as required by Royal Decree 1801/03 on “general product safety”, which aims to ensure that all products placed on the market are safe throughout their life cycle. With even greater force, when the new European standard EN 16630 was published, all permanently installed outdoor fitness equipment already installed had to and must adapt to the new requirements, and any equipment whose design means it cannot be modified must be eliminated or a risk assessment carried out by a competent entity, in order to be able to evaluate any possible risks and/or dangers and their magnitude in the children’s environment, due to the fact that they can be used.
Having said that, it is very important to carry out the pertinent tests on these products to assess their safety, whether once they have been installed or at the factory. We, a test laboratory and a competent entity, carry out this type of service, and we are able to check whether outdoor fitness equipment that has been installed prior to the publication of the new standard EN 16630, can be adapted and whether newly manufactured equipment is safe and verified by a third party such as ourselves.
Although these are non-playground products, many of the safety requirements included are based on the playground standard EN 1176, especially part 1 of the general safety requirements, mainly due to their location and the fact that they are not supervised by a trainer, as is the case in a gymnasium for example. The safety requirements that are included and are common to the playground standard, EN 1176 part 1, are entrapments of some part of the body.
Services relating to the testing of outdoor fitness equipment
European technical standards for fixed outdoor fitness equipment:
- EN 16630 “Permanently installed outdoor fitness equipment. Safety Requirements and Test Methods”
Benefits of having properly analysed outdoor fitness equipment
As we are an international and national reference laboratory in child safety both in products and in environments, we perform safety tests on Permanently installed outdoor fitness equipment, which, although not a product for children, may be used by young people, or users more than 1.4 m tall. This is why many of the safety requirements are based on the playground standard, EN 1176.
Thanks to our technical expertise and our active participation in various national and international standardisation forums and committees related to child safety, and particularly to playgrounds, we help and facilitate the industry’s continuous updating in the design of its products, always under the latest regulatory or pre-regulatory changes or possible future changes.
How we carry out tests of outdoor fitness equipment
Our test reports are accepted in Europe, due to our positioning, as we are recognised in both European and international forums as experts in child safety. We are an accredited laboratory according to ISO/IEC 17025.
Our experience in testing outdoor fitness equipment
We have more than 30 years’ experience in performing safety tests on children’s products and we are the only laboratory that is accredited by ENAC to test playground equipment and surfacing, and as an inspection entity.
Our laboratory has specific facilities in which we carry out these tests. Our technicians also travel to manufacturers’ premises in order to evaluate the different products and to offer our services to our customers.