Standards

Playground Equipment and Surfacing – Australia

Blog

Safety First: AS 4422 (Int):2022 Playground Surfacing and Its Interim Release
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Playgrounds that Embrace All Abilities: AS 1428.1:2021 and Its Impact on Inclusive Design
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AS 16630 (2021): A Game-Changer in Outdoor Fitness Equipment Standards
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The Latest Standard for Skateparks: AS EN 14974 (2021)
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Ensuring Safety and Fun: Australian Standards for Playground Equipment and Surfacing
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Enhancing Safety and Fun: AS 4685 Part 1-6 (2021) Update for Playground Equipment and Surfacing
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Why Is Compliance with Playground Standards Essential?
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News

Public playground 'can't be used when it rains'
Public playground 'can't be used when it rains'
South Australian playground wins big at national awards
South Australian playground wins big at national awards
Playground with tallest play tower wins top award
Playground with tallest play tower wins top award
New playground and facilities give facelift to popular Perth dam
New playground and facilities give facelift to popular Perth dam
This popular playground is closed while crews give it new safety surfacing
This popular playground is closed while crews give it new safety surfacing
‘Junk parts' playground gives kids alternative ways to play amid crates and concrete tunnels
‘Junk parts' playground gives kids alternative ways to play amid crates and concrete tunnels
Children's playground left covered in green slime is 'abandoned' and unusable.jpg
Children's playground left covered in green slime is 'abandoned' and unusable
Council backflips on $2 million playground move after months of community backlash
Council backflips on $2 million playground move after months of community backlash
Mother's sinister discovery at Perth playground prompts warning
Mother's sinister discovery at Perth playground prompts warning
Video captures 'deliberate' fire in Buntingford playground
Video captures 'deliberate' fire in Buntingford playground
Public encouraged to submit photos of their 'worst playgrounds' to support a national campaign
Public encouraged to submit photos of their 'worst playgrounds' to support a national campaign
Groundskeeper discovers huge snake sleeping on school play structure
Groundskeeper discovers huge snake sleeping on school play structure
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‘Low-risk’ wooden playground collapses on child, exposing his skull through 3-inch wound
Playground toilets to be urgently replaced due to complaints of inappropriate ‘see-through’ doors
Playground toilets to be urgently replaced due to complaints of inappropriate ‘see-through’ doors
Preschools & indoor playgrounds step up cleaning and disinfecting efforts as HFMD cases rise
Preschools & indoor playgrounds step up cleaning and disinfecting efforts as HFMD cases rise
Tug-of-war over newly opened public housing playground as it fills with ‘posh prep school kids’
Tug-of-war over newly opened public housing playground as it fills with ‘posh prep school kids’
Playground mistakenly demolished; contractor plans to replace equipment
Playground mistakenly demolished, contractor plans to replace equipment
Playground indefinitely shuts down after 2 incidents of Elk attacking children within a week
Playground indefinitely shuts down after 2 incidents of Elk attacks on children
Browntail Moth infestation causes temporary closure of playground
Browntail Moth infestation causes temporary closure of playground
'Iconic' plane on school playground removed
'Iconic' plane on school playground removed
Awareness being raised after child contracts hand, foot and mouth disease at park
Awareness being raised after child contracts hand, foot and mouth disease at park
A guide to safe play on playgrounds
A new guide to safe play on playgrounds
New Playground at Perth Zoo wins landscape architecture award
New Playground at Perth Zoo wins landscape architecture award
New safe drug-use site and homeless centre located near playground causes strife for families
New safe drug-use site and homeless centre located near playground causes strife for families
Why playgrounds are vital to childhood development
Play, learn, grow: Why playgrounds are vital to childhood development
City to insta cameras following playground vandalism
‘Don’t do it again’: City to install cameras following playground vandalism
Victorian playground takes home prestigious award
Victorian playground takes home prestigious award
Magnificent ‘Fruit Themed Playground’ is a must see!
Magnificent ‘Fruit Themed Playground’ is a must see!
Vandal’s target playground, ripping out tiles and digging holes
Vandal’s target playground, ripping out tiles and digging holes
2 teenagers charged for carving swastikas into school playground equipment.jpg
2 teenagers charged for carving swastikas into school playground equipment
Residents urged to tag fence holding their personalised fence pickets before playground overhaul
Residents return to claim beloved memorial pieces from old playground
Why you won’t see McDonalds playgrounds in the future
Why our future won’t include McDonalds playgrounds
The most amazing playground designs you don’t want to miss in 2024
The most amazing playground designs you don’t want to miss in 2024
Interactive play space set to transform Sydney hospital experience
Interactive play space set to transform Sydney hospital experience
Daycare playground catches fire just weeks before completion
Daycare playground catches fire just weeks before completion
High schools are incomplete without playgrounds
Controversial Opinion: High schools are incomplete without playgrounds
The 1-Billion-Dollar request to build ‘cooler’ school playgrounds.jpg
The 1-Billion-Dollar request to build ‘cooler’ school playgrounds
The world’s most hazardous playground has to been seen to be believed
The world’s most hazardous playground has to been seen to be believed
Families horrified to find spikey nails intentionally glued all-over playground equipment
Families horrified to find spiky nails intentionally glued all-over playground equipment
Parents caution others on playground safety
"It could happen to anyone”: Parents caution others on playground safety

Australian Standards for Playground Equipment and Surfacing

The Australian Standards for Playground Equipment and Surfacing are an advisory set of guidelines that are not regulatory on their own, Standards are voluntary;

  • They are a national recommendation on minimum requirements for best practice
  • They are not mandatory for public and private play areas
  • Playgrounds provided by schools and childcare centres usually have to comply with policies under the State or Territory relevant Department of Education or equivalent
  • Although they are not mandatory. they may (highly likely) be referred to in court action against providers of play equipment
  • They cover specific guidelines on the design, installation, inspection and maintenance 
  • A playground owner has a duty of care to all users and visitors and a reasonable Standard of Care should be applied to the playground to prevent injury or loss.

There is no requirement for the public to comply with the Standards. However, State and Commonwealth Governments often refer to Australian Standards (AS) or joint Australian/New-Zealand Standards (AS/NZS) in their legislation.

When this happens, these Standards can become mandatory. In addition, AS are sometimes incorporated into legal documents, and considered as a ‘benchmark of acceptability’. 

 PSIA conducts its operations in accordance with the Australian Standard, ‘best practice; and Occupational Health and Safety Act. 

Current Standards

The below Standards can be purchased directly from Sai Global.

Standard Year Description
AS 4685.0 2017 Playground Equipment and Surfacing. Part 0: Development, installation, inspection, maintenance and operation.
AS 4685.1 2021 Playground equipment and surfacing. Part 1: General safety requirements and test methods
AS 4685.2 2021 Playground equipment and surfacing. Part 2: Additional safety requirements and test methos for swings
AS 4685.3 2021 Playground equipment and surfacing. Part 3: Additional safety requirements and test method for slides
AS 4685.4 2021 Playground equipment and surfacing. Part 4: Additional safety requirements and test method for cableways
AS 4685.5 2021 Playground equipment and surfacing. Part 5: Additional safety requirements and test method for carousels
AS 4685.6 2021 Playground equipment and surfacing. Part 6: Additional safety requirements and test method for rocking equipment
AS 4685.11 2014 Playground equipment and surfacing. Part 11: Additional safety requirements and test method for spatial network
AS 4422 2022 (Int) Playground surfacing - Specifications, requirements and test method
AS 16630 2021 Permanently installed outdoor fitness equipment - Safety requirements and test methods
AS EN 14974 2021 Skateparks - Safety requirements and test methods
AS EN 16899 2020 Sports and recreational equipment - Parkour equipment - Safety requirements and test methods

Keeping Standards Up to Date

To maintain their currency, Standards are periodically reviewed and new editions are published. Between editions, amendments may be issued. Standards may also be withdrawn. It is important you ensure you are referring to the current Standards, which should include any amendments which may have been published since the Standard was purchased.

StandardsWatch is another easy way to keep Standards up-to-date, a subscription offered by Sai Global.

Training Courses

Level 1-3 Comprehensive

Gain advanced skills in inspection and hazard identification to ensure the utmost safety for children at play.

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Level 1-2 Operational

Become proficient in the day-to-day operational aspects of playground safety. Equip yourself with the knowledge and skills needed to ensure playgrounds run smoothly and securely for children’s enjoyment.

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Level 1 Routine Visual

Become a certified inspector for conducting regular visual assessments of playgrounds. Learn essential skills to maintain safe and enjoyable play environments for children.

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