CPSC - Public Playground Safety Handbook

December 29, 2015 The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission’s (“CPSC” or “Commission”) Public Playground Safety Handbook was first published in 1981 under the name A Handbook for Public Playground Safety . The recommendations in the Handbook are focused on playground-related injuries and mechanical mechanisms of injury; falls from playground equipment have remained the largest single hazard pattern associated with playground use. Since the first edition, the Commission has included recommendations that playgrounds not be installed over concrete, asphalt, or paved surfaces to address serious head injuries due to falls from the equipment. Additionally, the Commission has made suggestions for commonly used loose-fill and unitary surfacing materials ( e.g. , wood mulch, pea gravel, sand, gym mats, and shredded/recycled rubber mulch) that provide head impact attenuation and can mitigate the hazard presented by falls from playground equipment. Maintaining the focus on falls, the Handbook’s surfacing recommendations are based on the surfacing material’s energy absorbing effectiveness. During the past 35 years, innovations in technology have led to new playground equipment and surfacing practices. Voluntary standards for equipment and impact attenuation for protective surfacing have evolved. The 2010 edition of the Handbook , the most recent version, still discusses common materials, but also covers new surfacing systems that are specifically designed and tested to comply with ASTM F1292, the voluntary standard for measuring impact attenuation of surfacing. Maintaining that focus, Section 2.4 of the Handbook identifies shredded/recycled rubber mulch as an “Appropriate Surfacing” product, given that this product can meet the impact attenuation requirements of ASTM F1292, as long as minimum depths of the material are maintained, as specified in Table 2 of Section 2.5. This notation is solely focused on the impact attenuation to minimize serious head injuries, and not on other aspects that may pose other risks, such as chemical exposure or ingestion. U.S. CONSUMER PRODUCT SAFETY COMMISSION 4330 EAST WEST HIGHWAY BETHESDA , MD 20814