Say goodbye to Metal Swing Sets and Slides - The Neighborhood Playground is Altering
Have you been by your community playground just recently? If so, did you observe any modifications in the devices and ground compared with ten years earlier? Over the course of the start of the 21st Century, lots of old metal and wood devices have been removed because of OSHA-issued safety violations. As an outcome, the old equipment is being replaced with new "soft" devices made from plastic and wood not repainted with arsenic paint. On the web, even blog sites about old playground devices have popped up, each full of photographs illustrating old metal devices covered in broken, vibrant paint.
Tracing the history of playground devices to the middle of the 20th Century, the first community and school play grounds were produced in the 1940s and '50s, with the very first playground devices being a single piece - like a big jungle fitness center - installed on concrete, asphalt, grass, or tough dirt. All of the play pieces were made from metal. But by the '60s and '70s, wood products started being made use of, as they were more environmentally friendly than metal as well as required upkeep, which, frequently, metal playground pieces hardly ever got, triggering rusting and breaking. In addition, the equipment itself ended up being primarily multi-use play systems with connecting components. This change was funded by Land and Water Conservation Funds and other neighborhood advancement programs. Hard surface area play areas were still typical, as they were easier to clean.
Playground safety was officially addressed in 1975 by an organization called the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). After examining playground injuries, the company produced A Handbook for Public Playground Safety. The recommendations in the book were not mandatory; the book was used as a standard for injuries and suits regarding playground devices.
By 1981, the suggestions in the CPSC had made most playground equipment outdated. By these standards, swing sets installed prior to 1981 could cause skull fractures, and particular protrusions or edges might trigger lacerations. More importantly, was the surfaces under the devices, as hard surfaces were the cause of 57 percent of all playground-related injuries recorded at healthcare facilities. Playground surfaces now needed to be softer.
To have play areas developed better and maintained correctly, the National Playground Safety Institute established in 1991 the first training program for owners, operators, and designers of play areas. Likewise, the CPSC handbook was modified and republished in 1991 with clearer standards. The majority of the revisions in this edition address playground equipment for children in the two to twelve age varieties, rather than the 5 to twelve variety as in the previous edition. As a result, playground equipment needed to be less susceptible to toddler injuries, consisting of platform heights being brought down and sizes of holes being smaller sized than a toddler's head.
Since then, the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) has actually been developing products to make playground devices friendlier for physically-challenged children.
In the scope of making playground equipment, altering equipment to meet OSHA policies is another step in making a playground more secure.