Impact area and critical fall height (EN1177)

How to calculate the area on a playground which should be covered with safety flooring because a child might fall on it (impact area)?
How to define a critical fall height according to EN1177 standard on various types of playground surfacing (rubber flooring and loose fill materials)?
In this entry you will find the answer to these crucial questions, particularly for those who plan a playground or a play area, no matter if it’s for private or public use.

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Leave “play” to the kids. Leave “ground” to the professionals.

Playground surface paved with Warco rubber safety tiles guarantees safe and exciting play for the kids.

Your playground doesn’t have to be the coolest in the neighbourhood. It doesn’t need to have the most complex equipment – the kids need much less than you think to build kingdoms and have a blast. The only thing you have to think about is their safety.

 

What is “safety flooring”, then? There are 2 norms in the UE that regulate the issues of playground safety – EN1176 is about playground equipment, EN1177 refers to playground surfacing, also called safety flooring. These regulations do not precisely state which surface is appropriate, yet it is clearly said that such a flooring shall provide the necessary fall protection from a certain height (called maximal or critical fall height). This means that if a child can fall from 2 metres (because this is the highest point of the climbing frame, for example), the floor should absorb the impact of this fall, preventing from an accident with lasting consequences (especially head injuries). Head Injury Criterion is used to calculate these values. Continue reading