Archive for December, 2010

ATTENTION! Correction needed in Playground Safety Is No Accident, 4th Edition

Friday, December 10th, 2010

Playground Safety Is No Accident Update
By Kenneth S Kutska, Executive Director
International Playground Safety Institute, LLC
December 3, 2010

Playground Safety Is No Accident, 4th Edition Correction

It has been over a year since people have been using the fourth edition of Playground Safety Is No Accident and I finally have heard form one of you in writing. Actually it was through one of the CPSI Course instructors who referred the question to me.
I knew it was too good to be true and as the saying goes no news is good news. WRONG.

As many of you already know, I am far from perfect. Nobody will debate this. One of CPSIs have discovered an error in the Audit Compliance Inspection Form. Many of you have been using the electronic Adobe formatted form as shown on the CD everyone has received over this past year when they take the CPSI Course.

The question arose when one of our CPSI’s asked about the clearance requirement for the underside of a whirl of merry-go-round. On page 66 of the fourth edition of Playground Safety Is No Accident, which is also page 27 of the Compliance Audit Form, it states in question #4,

“Underside of platform max. 9” above the surfacing. Platforms w/ diameter <20” are exempt. (ASTM CPSC 5.3.4)”

The citations are correct but the clearance under the rotating platform must be a MINIMUM of 9 inches not maximum of 9 inches to assure head entrapment clearance. Anything less than 9 inches would be non-compliant.

This correction should be made in your audit compliance inspection forms to make sure we all have a minimum of 9 inches underneath the rotating platforms of our spinners, merry-go-rounds, or whirls with platform diameters 20 inches or greater. I apologize for this inconvenience.

If anybody has indentified any other inconsistencies I would appreciate an email so I can correct the situation. In an effort to shorten the form and still include enough information to explain the requirements of the ASTM Standard and CPSC Handbook. Citations help to clarify these situations as they arrive. I thank the CPSI for their diligence in bringing this to my attention and urge others to follow this lead.

It has been over a year since the last book revision and I would like to hear from those of you who have been using any or all of the forms from the book CD. If any of you have used the book to start or improve your playground safety program I would like to hear your story. Two of these stories were highlighted in this fourth edition.

Standards Alert
By now you have heard of the latest revision to the CPSC Handbook, Publication #325. It was released with a November 2010 publishing date. This version addresses most of the concerns raised in a letter I wrote to the CPSC in December or 2008 on behalf of the ASTM Subcommittee F15.29 and many other organizations did likewise. While these two documentsl are not 100% harmonized we are much closer than we were. This new version is available on their web site, All the other correspondence leading up to this revision is also on their web site. That being said we also expect to have another version of the ASTM F1487 Standard published sometime in early 2011.

Editorial – International Playground Safety Standards Harmonization

With all this change coming I see the opportunity and need for ASTM and other international standard developing organizations to convene with their respective trade organizations and playground safety advocacy groups to discuss the future of their individual playground safety standards and see where we might come to agreement on some form of international minimum playground safety performance recommendation and/or standard. Many countries have adopted the ASTM F1487 and F1292 Standard and many have adopted the EN 1176 and 1177 Standards. The Canadian CSA Z 614 Standard already has some form of harmonization with the ASTM F1487 Standard. Singapore and Korea have adopted the ASTM Standard as their own national Standard. The Australians have their own standard AS 4685- 1 thru 6 and seems to be following the EN 1176 Standard. With so many developing countries getting into the playground business either as manufacturers or consumers there is a real opportunity and reason to do something at this time. There appears, at least to me, to be some interest in identifying the areas of agreement and while we can agree to disagree; we should at least be able to explain our differences in the rationale used to create each section under debate and the approach used to solve a particular situation. This would lead to a better understanding of our differences. We continue to learn from one another and we often cite each other’s standard as rationale when adding new sections to our standard. This kind of discussion could and should lead to a better understanding and possibly the beginning of an effort towards more international playground standards harmonization.