Tests on playground and recreational equipment
Playground equipment, as is the case with other products that are placed on the market, must be safe and, together with recognised testing laboratories, it is the manufacturers who must demonstrate that their product is in fact safe through the existence of a specific regulation. If however there is no applicable mandatory regulatory provision or the one that does apply does not cover all the risks that can assess its safety, they should consider evaluating the product in the following way:
- National technical standards transposing non-harmonised European standards.
- UNE standards. (Article 3 “Product Safety Assessment”, European Directive on General Product Safety 1801/2003)
As a result, the manufacturer must ensure that it complies with the applicable technical standards and that what it offers to the consumer for their use is safe. For this purpose, AIJU is a test laboratory that evaluates the safety of playground equipment and surfacing as follows:
- Physical and chemical tests and design checking, in accordance with national and European regulations, etc.
- Assessment of the information or instructions for “safe” use during its entire lifetime (installation, inspection, maintenance).
- Revision of the marking in order to guarantee traceability if a dangerous risk were to arise.
All this benefits the manufacturer by complying with European General Product Safety Directive 1801/2003, which applies to all European Union member states and is transposed at a national level, and ensures that the user receives a product that is safe.
Services related to testing playground and recreational equipment
European technical standards for playground equipment and the impact attenuating playground surfacing. (*)
- EN 1176-1 “Playground Equipment and Surfacing. Part 1: General safety requirements and test methods.”
- EN 1176-2 “Playground Equipment and Surfacing. Part 2: Additional specific safety requirements and test methods for swings.”
- EN 1176-3 “Playground Equipment and Surfacing. Part 3: Additional specific safety requirements and test methods for slides.”
- EN 1176-4 “Playground Equipment and Surfacing. Part 4: Additional specific safety requirements and test methods for cableways.”
- EN 1176-5 “Playground Equipment and Surfacing. Part 5: Additional specific safety requirements and test methods for carousels.”
- EN 1176-6 “Playground Equipment and Surfacing. Part 6: Additional specific safety requirements and test methods for rocking equipment.”
- EN 1176-7 “Playground Equipment and Surfacing. Part 7: Guidance on installation, inspection, maintenance and operation.”
- EN 1176-10 “Playground Equipment and Surfacing. Part 10: Additional specific safety requirements and test methods for fully enclosed playground equipment.”
- EN 1176-11 “Playground Equipment and Surfacing. Part 11: Additional specific safety requirements and test methods for spatial network.”
- EN 1177 ““. Impact attenuating playground surfacing. Methods of test for determination of impact attenuation”
(*) The tests according to EN 1176 for which we are accredited can be consulted on the website of the national accreditation body (ENAC), where the scope of the laboratory’s accreditation can be found. (see https://www.enac.es).
Benefits of having tested playground and recreational equipment
We are an international reference laboratory for child safety. We carry out physical, chemical and impact attenuation tests on playground equipment and surfacing in accordance with European and international regulations and legislation.
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.
We are the only centre with proven technical expertise, as we are the first laboratory in Spain to be accredited by the ENAC (the National Accreditation Entity) according to ISO/IEC 17025 to test playground equipment and surfacing, and according to ISO/IEC 17020, as a playground and sports field inspection body.
How do we test play and recreational equipment
The test reports we obtain in AIJU are accepted in Europe, due to our positioning, as we are recognised in both European and international forums as experts in child safety. AIJU is an accredited laboratory according to ISO/IEC 17025.
Our experience as playground and recreational equipment testing laboratory
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 in situ. If the tests are carried out here, our facilities are equipped to carry out all the tests: probes and test masses, equipment to determine the impact attenuation of swing seats, equipment to determine critical fall height and the impact attenuation properties of playing surfaces, acclimatised rooms, etc.