Organizations Supporting Playground Safety Education and Training

International Play Equipment Manufacture Association

IPEMA is your partner in the play equipment and surfacing market.
The International Play Equipment Manufacturers Association is a non-profit, membership, trade association. In addition to membership for manufacturers of public play equipment and surfacing materials, we extend membership to consultants and suppliers related to the industry. IPEMA also provides a product certification program for public play equipment and surfacing materials.

 IPEMA’s philosophy is:
To represent and promote an open market for manufacturers of playground equipment and surfacing.

  • To represent and serve all manufacturers of the playground equipment industry.
  • To provide members with timely, in-depth information on issues affecting the industry.
  • To promote relationships with other related organizations to enhance the strength of the marketplace.

Mission Statement:
To promote play, encourage safety, and provide certification programs, for playground environments.

Core values of IPEMA:
Uphold consistency of compliance
Demonstrate professionalism and integrity

Third-Party Certification Program:
In the interest of public safety, IPEMA provides a product certification program for public play equipment and surfacing materials. The program validates a participant’s product(s) to one or more of the standards referenced here. TÃœV SÃœD America serves as the third-party validator for the program.
IPEMA provides a product certification program which validates a participant’s product(s) for conformance to certain ASTM standards. Certification seals are made available to participants in the certification program. IPEMA members who do not participate in the certification program may not use any of the IPEMA certification seals. Please contact IPEMA headquarters at or 717-238-1744 if you would like to know more about the certification program. To review the license agreement, procedural guide and fee schedule for participation in the public play equipment and/or surfacing materials certification program, download the packets found on this page.

Voice of Play:
IPEMA maintains an ongoing initiative to promote the benefits of children’s play and playgrounds and to provide information and resources to help us all improve the quality and quantity of children’s play and playgrounds. A website,, is sponsored by the International Play Equipment Manufacturers (IPEMA), and is for parents, kids, community groups, school principals, boards, teachers and administrators; parks and recreation professionals; playground designers and equipment manufacturers – along with everyone who cares about kids and play! Some highlights of this site include information about physical, social, emotional and cognitive benefits of play; playground certification and standards; a resource kit for parents; and an area to ask questions to our play experts.

United States Consumer Product Safety Commission

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission is charged with protecting the public from unreasonable risks of serious injury or death from thousands of types of consumer products under the agency's jurisdiction. The CPSC is committed to protecting consumers and families from products that pose a fire, electrical, chemical, or mechanical hazard or can injure children. The CPSC's work to ensure the safety of consumer products - such as toys, cribs, power tools, cigarette lighters, and household chemicals - contributed significantly to the 30 percent decline in the rate of deaths and injuries associated with consumer products over the past 40 years. The CPSC has been involved in playground injury prevention since it beginning in the 1970's. There first playground safety guidelines were published in 1981 and as a result of their continuous injury analysis they have continued to review and modify their playground safety recommendations. Their Web site contains many resources for consumers and owner/operators of residential and public play areas

U.S. Play Coalition
The US PLAY Coalition: A Partnership to Promote the Value of Play throughout Life is made up of individuals who and organizations that recognize play as a valuable and necessary part of a healthy and productive life. We are housed within Clemson University's College of Health, Education and Human Development and express our gratitude to the university and the college for their continuing support.
The coalition was born of The Summit on the Value of Play which took place at Clemson University in the summer of 2009 (for more information see the tab to the left). The attendees at this important summit made a commitment to create a coalition whose purpose would be to bring together organizations and individuals in support of play and to open up opportunities for people of all ages, backgrounds, and abilities to incorporate play into their lives.

We invite you to explore the resources on this website and to become involved with the US PLAY Coalition!

National Playground Contractors Association International

Established 1997, to professionally construct today's pre-manufactured playground equipment

A nationwide partnership advancing the recreational construction industry by promoting qualified and dedicated contracting professionals who contribute to the design, installation and maintenance of parks, playgrounds, sports and recreation environments.

THE NPCAI LENDS SUPPORT: To all playground safety programs, guidelines, and standards that promote playground safety by assisting the public in identifying the need for a professional playground installation.

THE NPCAI SEEKS: Active participation in and contributions from its membership and corporate sponsors for the development and growth of individual members, their contracting businesses, and the playground construction profession worldwide.

THE NPCAI OFFERS: MEMBERS A VOICE in the playground industry through leadership opportunity and networking to affect industry changes to address developing needs.

MEMBERS ANSWERS to everyday installation questions and immediate access to information regarding certification, licensing and industry standards.

National Program for Playground Safety

NPPS is the leader in research, training, and development of safe play areas! NPPS' mission is to help the public create safe and developmentally appropriate play environments for children.
As the premier non-profit organization in the United States delivering training and services about outdoor play and safety, NPPS believes; every child has the right to play, all children need to learn to play and play to learn, every child is entitled to a safe, positive, nurturing, and fun play experience in the play environment.

Putting these beliefs into practice NPPS serves as child-advocates on issues pertaining to playground safety before government and regulatory agencies.

NPPS has been helping educate the public about safe and fun play environments since 1995. NPPS was established at the University of Northern Iowa with funding from the Centers for Disease Control and Injury Prevention.

Safekids Worldwide

Safe Kids Worldwide® is a nonprofit organization working to help families and communities keep kids safe from injuries. Most people are surprised to learn preventable injuries are the #1 killer of kids in the United States. Throughout the world, almost one million children die of an injury each year, and almost every one of these tragedies is preventable.

Safe Kids works with an extensive network of more than 400 coalitions in the United States and with partners in more than 30 countries to reduce traffic injuries, drownings, falls, burns, poisonings and more.

Since 1988, when Safe Kids was founded by Dr. Marty Eichelberger of the Children’s National Hospital with support from founding sponsor, Johnson & Johnson, Safe Kids has helped reduce the U.S. childhood death rate from unintentional injury by 61 percent. Working together, we can do much more to protect kids.

Losing one child is one too many, and we don't want any parent to have to endure the loss of a child. We're calling on everyone to come together, to raise awareness and to get involved. Saving lives is a decision we can all make every day.

Playright Children’s Play Association of Hong Kong

Playright Children's Play Association was founded in 1987 as a non-profit organization by Anne Marden, BBS JP. She is now Playright's Honorary President and a member of its Executive Committee. This initiative reflected her passionate belief in the importance and power of play for all children and it called attention to the pressing need to provide adequate inclusive play resources throughout the community. In the early days, Playright's main focus was on the provision of play environments, and it worked with the then Urban Council to create Hong Kong's first ever themed playground in leafy King's Park in 1989. Since then, Playright has progressively diversified its work and services in line with changing needs, expectations, values and research findings relating to child play and development.

Playright is the voice of children where they are not fairly or fully represented. Play unlocks the full potential of our children as individuals, empowering them to secure a better future

Playright seeks to enrich the life of every child through quality play. We make a difference in the lives of children by encouraging them to play. We further seek to demonstrate to parents, teachers, policy makers and the public at large that quality play is vital if the full range of the child's developmental and other needs is to be successfully met.

Through action, research and publicity covering four related areas - Advocacy, Play Resources, Play Outreach and Play Environments - we are helping to unlock the full potential of children in Hong Kong and elsewhere in Asia. Playright now serves more than 250,000 children and their families each year.
Playright Hong Kong offered the first CPSI Course and Exam in Hong Kong in October 2009 and the first Playground Maintenance Technician course through a contract with the International Playground Safety Institute, LLC.

International Play Association

IPA World , an international non-governmental organization, founded in Denmark in 1961. It is interdisciplinary and embraces in membership persons of all professions working for or with children. Membership is open to any individual, group or organization which endorses the United Nations' Declaration of the Rights of the Child (1959), especially Article 7, paragraph 3, which states:

"The child shall have full opportunity for play and recreation which should be directed to the same purposes as education; society and the public authorities shall endeavor to promote the enjoyment of this right;"

The IPA endorses its belief in Article 31 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (1990).
IPA is governed by a Board of Directors and a Council of National Representatives together with five members-at-large elected for three years, and the IPA USA is governed by a ten-member Board of Directors, five which are elected triennially.

The IPA works in close association with many international organizations, is recognized by the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), and recognized by UNICEF as a non-governmental organization with consultative status.

The IPA links national action groups through its members in over forty countries and provides for an exchange of ideas, issues, problems and innovative solutions.
IPA has members in close to 50 countries.

International Play Association USA

IPA USA is the national affiliate of IPA World

Centre for Urban Greenery and Ecology (Singapore)

The vision of CUGE is to be a Regional Centre for advancing and sharing knowledge and expertise in urban greenery and ecology to enhance urban living environment.

The Centre for Urban Greenery and Ecology (CUGE) is jointly established by the National Parks Board (NParks) and the Skills Future Singapore. We aim to serve as a regional repository of best practices to create conducive urban and green living environment, to be the leading knowledge nexus that shares greening efforts in tropical cities, and to enhance professionalism, deepen capabilities, restructure operations and position the industry to seize opportunities for growth. 

CUGE provides skills training programmes and facilitates career development for all levels of professionals. The programmes range from Workforce Skills Qualifications (WSQ) courses to professional certification programmes, workshops and seminars. Besides training, CUGE also provides career advisory services on the landscape industry. 

CUGE engages in multidisciplinary research to promote greenery knowledge that makes tropical cities more livable. Our knowledge creation involves three research areas: urban greenery, urban ecology, and social sustainability studies. 

CUGE works closely with industry associations to achieve the desired outcome of a professional, thriving and competitive landscape industry. 
CUGE has sponsored several CPSI Courses and Exams and Playground Maintenance Technician courses over the past twenty years through an MOU contract with the International Playground Safety Institute, LLC.

Organizations Developing Playground Safety Standards/Guidelines

American Society for Testing and Materials

Overview of the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM)
By Kenneth S Kutska, CPSI
Executive Director, International Playground Safety Institute, LLC
and ASTM F15.29 Subcommittee Chair for Public Playground Equipment

I, along with many other organizations and individuals, have come together over the past 30 plus years because of a common interest in developing performance requirements for various types of public play equipment that will help reduce life threatening and permanent debilitating injuries to children from 6 months to 12 years of age. The ASTM has provided the opportunity for various interests to work together in a consensus based process to create industry best practice standards for the public good. It is a very open organization and welcomes anyone to join in the process. Each member has an opportunity to be as involved in these standards development processes as they choose. I have taken the liberty to use much of the information provided on the ASTM Website, to provide this overview to the ASTM organization and how it effects all of us in the public playground industry. Let's first look at the mission of the ASTM.

ASTM's Mission Statement:
To be the foremost developer and provider of voluntary consensus standards, related technical information, and services having internationally recognized quality and applicability that

  • promote public health and safety, and the overall quality of life;
  • contribute to the reliability of materials, products, systems and services; and
  • facilitate national, regional and international commerce.

ASTM History
Providing the value, strength, and respect of marketplace consensus

In the late 19th century, failures in railroad equipment jeopardized public safety and posed the threat of bringing commerce to a standstill. Recognizing the need for a standardized method of testing the steel used to manufacture railroad components, a group of 20 engineers and professors met on June 16, 1898 and formed the American Section of the International Association for Testing Materials, the forerunner of ASTM International.

ASTM is one of the world's largest standards developing organizations. An independent, not-for-profit organization, ASTM serves as a forum for producers, users, consumers, and those having a general interest (representatives of government and academia) to meet on common ground and develop voluntary, consensus standards. From the work of over 140 standards-writing technical committees, ASTM publishes standard test methods, specifications, practices, guides, classifications, and terminologies.

ASTM's standards development activities encompass metals, paints, plastics, textiles, petroleum, construction, energy, the environment, consumer products, medical services and devices, electronics, and many other areas. With more than 32,000 volunteer members representing 125 countries, ASTM publishes more than 11,500 standards each year in the 77 volumes of the Annual Book of ASTM Standards, CD-ROM, and on- line products. These standards and related information are distributed and used worldwide.

The Basic ASTM Organization Structure

The governing body of ASTM is the Board of Directors, whose members are elected by vote of the entire membership via ballot. The 22-member Board meets twice a year at ASTM Headquarters and in various international locations.

The Board has empowered special standing committees to perform important functions for the Society as a whole. The Committee on Technical Committee Operations (COTCO) develops and maintains the Regulations Governing ASTM Technical Committees and acts upon recommended changes to the Regulations. COTCO is responsible for the interpretation and enforcement of these regulations, jurisdictional disputes with respect to scopes of ASTM technical committees. COTCO develops and recommends means for achieving the most efficient operation of the technical committees as related to their scope, structure, development, and planning.

The Committee on Standards (COS) develops, maintains, and interprets the Form & Style for ASTM Standards and reviews all requests from technical committees for exceptions to this document. COS is responsible for the review and approval of all technical committee recommendations for actions on standards. COS verifies that the procedural requirements of the Society's regulations and its criteria for due process have been satisfied. The Committee acts to resolve jurisdictional disputes with respect to standards.

The Committee on Publications (COP) advises the Board of Directors on the formulation of publications policy. COP is responsible for the publications program of the Society with the exception of acceptance criteria for the publication of ASTM standards. The Committee may, with the concurrence of the Board of Directors, initiate, continue, expand, or terminate periodicals, journals, series, or other continuing publications with the exception of the Annual Book of ASTM Standards. All standing committees report to the Board of Directors.

Within the formal structure of the Society, the technical committees exist as semiautonomous groups. The Board is responsible for approving the committees' titles and scopes. Under the purview of the approved scope, the committees are organized into subcommittees and task groups. Each committee develops its own bylaws, which are subject to approval by COTCO. Committees elect their main committee officers in accordance with the nomination and election procedures outlined in the Regulations.

Committees conduct subcommittee and main committee/Society review ballots on standards actions and are subject to a procedural review by the Committee on Standards before final approval and publication by ASTM.

Technical subcommittees address specific subjects within the committee scope. Subcommittees may create sections and task groups. The executive subcommittee provides leadership and direction to the main committee. The composition of each executive committee is defined within the respective committee bylaws. Administrative subcommittees provide assistance to the technical subcommittees and may be established in areas such as editorial review of standards, terminology, government interface, international activities, strategic planning, symposia, awards, and liaison with other technical committees and outside organizations.

Membership in technical committees is open to all interested individuals and organizations. Within the technical committees, membership is classified by voting interest (company or organization) and must be balanced as defined within the ASTM Regulations. ASTM committees usually meet twice a year, either independently or at a committee week, in cities throughout the United States and abroad. Subcommittee and committee members are obliged to respond to ballots on standards actions. Each technical committee is assigned a staff manager who is responsible for the management functions and coordination of administrative services.

ASTM International is one of the largest voluntary standards development organizations in the world-a trusted source for technical standards for materials, products, systems, and services. Known for their high technical quality and market relevancy, ASTM International standards have an important role in the information infrastructure that guides design, manufacturing and trade in the global economy.
ASTM International, originally known as the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM), was formed over a century ago and has continued to answer the call with consensus standards that have made products and services safer, better and more cost-effective. The proud tradition and forward vision that started in 1898 is still the hallmark of ASTM International.

Today, ASTM continues to play a leadership role in addressing the standardization needs of the global marketplace. Known for its best in class practices for standards development and delivery, ASTM is at the forefront in the use of innovative technology to help its members do standards development work, while also increasing the accessibility of ASTM International standards to the world.

ASTM continues to be the standards forum of choice of a diverse range of industries that come together under the ASTM umbrella to solve standardization challenges. In recent years, stakeholders involved in issues ranging from safety in recreational aviation, to fiber optic cable installations in underground utilities, to homeland security, have come together under ASTM to set consensus standards for their industries.

Standards developed at ASTM are the work of over 30,000 ASTM members. These technical experts represent producers, users, consumers, government and academia from over 120 countries. Participation in ASTM International is open to all with a material interest, anywhere in the world

ASTM Consumer Product Standards: Enhancing Product Quality and Buyer Safety

Each and every day, consumers around the world use various products with the confidence that they will work in a reliable and safe manner. ASTM International consumer product standards play a critical role in building trust between manufacturers and consumers about the performance of a wide variety of goods. By helping to improve product reliability, ASTM standards empower manufacturers to deliver high quality products and ultimately give consumers confidence that the products they purchase are safe and ready to use.

ASTM Product Safety Standards: Focus on Emerging Hazards

One of the most valuable contributions of ASTM consumer product safety standards is the manner in which they identify, address and mitigate emerging hazards in a multitude of products.
To this end, ASTM standards advocate for consumer safety, helping to reduce and eliminate potentially unsafe products before they are placed on store shelves and arrive in our homes.

Achieving this goal requires cooperation that goes beyond the responsibilities of an individual manufacturer. Safer products are ensured when all industry stakeholders work together: manufacturers, government regulators, trade and consumer groups, and individual consumers.

ASTM International has long been the consensus standards development forum that brings together diverse stakeholders with a shared interest in making consumer products as safe as possible. The open ASTM system allows all those concerned to engage directly in the standards development process and cooperate in achieving common goals. Through this openness and transparency, ASTM facilitates the development of standards that truly reflect the demands of the global marketplace. And while the use of ASTM standards is voluntary, government regulators have given them the force of law by citing them in legislation, regulations and codes, as evidenced in the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008, discussed later.

In the consumer field, ASTM standards address a wide range of areas, including toys, other infant and child products like cribs and playground equipment; household items like candles; cleaning-related tools such as vacuum cleaners, brooms and mops; sports equipment such as safety helmets; leisure activities like amusement rides; and many others. Several ASTM technical committees develop these standards, each of which contributes to enhancing product safety and building consumer confidence.

ASTM Committee F15: Setting Standards for Consumer Product Safety

ASTM International's largest consumer product standards committee is F15 on Consumer Products, a group that has played an important role in consumer product safety standards for more than 35 years. The committee's broad global membership of approximately 900 professionals includes stakeholders from the manufacturing and retail environment as well as representatives from government agencies and internationally respected trade and consumer groups. F15's activities encompass 50 standards writing subcommittees, each of which focuses on a specific product area. F15 stakeholders work proactively in the public interest, forming new task groups on an ongoing basis to address urgent safety issues and newly identified hazards in various products.

ASTM F963: Ensuring Safer Toys

As new concerns about toys and other child-related safety issues have been raised during the last few years, the impact of ASTM International standards has again been brought to the forefront.

With thousands of new toys introduced in the marketplace each year, ASTM standards play a vital role in supporting children's safety. An important contributor to that safety is ASTM F963, Consumer Safety Specification for Toy Safety, which establishes safety requirements for toys intended for use by children under the age of 14.

The value of ASTM F963 was underscored in 2008 when it became mandatory through the landmark U.S. Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act. As part of this new law, all toys sold in the United States must meet F963 safety requirements. ASTM F963, which is under the jurisdiction of Subcommittee F15.22 on Toy Safety, includes guidelines and test methods to prevent injuries from choking, sharp edges and other potential hazards. First drafted in 1971, the standard has been enhanced over the years to address new product technologies and innovations.

The latest F963 revision issued at the end of 2008 addresses a wide range of hazards such as magnet ingestion, jaw entrapment, acoustics issues, flammability testing, impaction and other critical areas. Children’s playground equipment is within this Act’s jurisdiction.

Broad Scope of Child Safety Activities

Committee F15's child safety standards activities also extend to issues such as pool-related drownings, strangulation by clothing drawstrings, bunk bed injuries, crayon toxicity and much more.

A particularly important set of standards addresses playground equipment for both public and home use, including issues such as head and neck entrapment, playground layout, accessibility, maintenance, and labeling. These standards include ASTM F1487, Consumer Safety Performance Specification for Playground Equipment for Public Use, which covers equipment used by children from 2 to 12 years old; and F2373, Consumer Safety Performance Specification for Public Use Play Equipment for Children 6 Months through 23 Months, which provides a standard covering products intended for children 2 years old and younger. The residential play equipment industry is addressed by standard F1148, Consumer Safety Performance Specification for Home Playground Equipment. As of February 2009, all three of these standards were being revised to reflect the latest industry developments.

Safer Sports, Thanks to ASTM Committee F08

Whether aimed at serious professional athletes, or the millions of people who enjoy various recreational activities, the standards of ASTM Committee F08 on Sports Equipment and Facilities assist in making sports safer for all who participate. Formed in 1969, Committee F08 focuses on the development of standards, test methods and practices for sports equipment, surfaces and facilities to reduce the inherent risk of injuries. Committee F08 includes approximately 650 members who participate on one or more of 25 technical subcommittees that have responsibility for 130 standards. These standards cover a wide scope of sports areas, including headgear and helmets, bicycles, gymnastics and wrestling equipment, athletic footwear, eye safety, baseball and softball equipment, camping, fitness products, playing surfaces, playground impact attenuating surface systems and much more.

Committee F08 works closely with third-party certifiers that are in the business of certifying products meeting ASTM International or other standards. It is important for the certifying bodies to be involved in ASTM to understand the intent of the test methods and specifications so they can better implement testing practices in their facilities. In addition, many rules from the National Collegiate Athletic Association and the National Federation of State High School Associations rules reference F08 standards.

F08 Standards Improve Quality of Athletic Fields and Other Playing Surfaces

Another important topic of interest for the standards development activities of Committee F08 is athletic field improvement. Through the efforts of several of its subcommittees, F08 has contributed standards that have enhanced the quality of a variety of natural and artificial playing surfaces. Sports like baseball and football, which rely heavily on natural grass surfaces, are aided by such F08 standards as ASTM F2060, Guide for Maintaining Cool Season Turfgrasses on Athletic Fields. Sports stadiums and fields outfitted with artificial turf gain a valuable assist from the standards developed by Subcommittee F08.65 on Artificial Turf Surfaces and Systems. Notable standards include F1015, Test Method for Relative Abrasiveness of Synthetic Turf Playing Surfaces.

F08.65 is also addressing the issue of drainage failures, one of the major problems confronting owners and operators of synthetic turf sports fields. Committee members are currently working on a proposed new standard that provides a vertical permeability test of synthetic turf that will be useful to designers, testing agencies and contractors in minimizing problems associated with field drainage.

F08 athletic field and surface standards also extend outside the world of sports. One such guide provides an example of close connection among multiple ASTM consumer-related safety standards.
F1292, Specification for Impact Attenuation of Surfacing Materials within the Use Zone of Playground Equipment, covers performance requirements for playground surfaces and surfacing materials. F1292 references several other related ASTM playground safety standards, including F1487 and F1148 mentioned earlier. ASTM F1951 begins to address the accessibility of impact attenuating surfacing systems by measuring the energy required to navigate across the surface system as compared to going up a hard smooth ramped surface. They have many other laboratory and field test related standard for playground protective surfacing all found in found in Volume 15.07 of ASTM standards.

How are the principles upon which ASTM was founded relevant today?

From its inception, ASTM has emphasized the value and necessity of bringing together buyers and sellers to define issues and work cooperatively to improve product and material performance and overall quality of life. In 1898, the principles of openness, due process, balance of interests, and consensus established the foundation on which ASTM has matured and grown over its first 100 years. The ASTM member of 1998 relies on these same principles and the integrity of a proven process to produce standards of recognized technical excellence that have worldwide acceptance and use. We will continue to refine our process to achieve faster results in response to a significantly different social, political, and economic climate - but at the same time we will guard against compromising the principles on which we were founded.

In 2008, ASTM President, James A. Thomas, reflects on ASTM's successful past and the Society's next one hundred years
The next 100 years will offer new challenges. What will guide ASTM in the 21st century?

ASTM is a bottom-up organization that relies on and benefits from the guidance and leadership of its technical committee members. The ASTM system of standards development is flexible and dynamic and has demonstrated its ability to expand and change to meet constantly changing needs and expectations.
ASTM committees are a true reflection of the marketplace and are uniquely positioned to respond to the new technological and competitive challenges of a global economy.

How will advances in technology impact ASTM's development and delivery of standards?

The pressure to properly use advances in technology to improve efficiency, timeliness, and cost effectiveness has never been greater on ASTM. We are responding by introducing new ways of conducting committee business between meetings by using the power of the World Wide Web. Our web-based Interactive Standards Development Forums will make it possible for members and other interested parties from around the world to contribute to the development of standards that will influence the future of their industries. Modifications of our balloting process, to remove redundancies and streamline administrative procedures through use of new technology, has significantly reduced the standards development cycle time in response to the demands of our constituency. Our efforts to accelerate the standards-development process without compromising our basic principles are constant and on-going.

Information delivery has evolved rapidly due to the impact of technological advances on both suppliers and users of all forms of data. ASTM's challenge is to meet the needs of its members and customers for information delivery in multiple forms. The business climate and the demands of an evolving membership base make it imperative for ASTM to make the transition to improved electronic delivery as quickly as possible. We have already seen major advances in ASTM due to the positive application of new technology but we have much more to accomplish.

What effect has the new global economy had on ASTM?

From its beginning ASTM has been open to the direct participation of technical experts from around the world. ASTM was one of the first truly global systems for arriving at consensus on technical issues. The Society certainly benefited from the strength of the U.S. economy, which helped drive the application and use of many ASTM standards. However, the technological and economic center today is shared by the U.S. and other global partners. This change to a global economy fits the basic policy framework of ASTM. The ability of representatives from around the world to directly and materially influence the content of ASTM standards contributes to their continued acceptance on a worldwide basis. Our challenge is to find new ways to facilitate even greater direct participation of global stakeholders in our proven partnership.

As you consider ASTM's second century, what is your vision for maintaining the Society's pre-eminent position in standards development?

ASTM's founders developed a formula for success that has proven itself repeatedly for 100 years. My job is to support, strengthen and reinforce a process that brings together technical experts representing industry, government, academia, and the general public to work cooperatively to promulgate standards that contribute to improved material and product performance and enhancements to the quality of life.
Our future is secure if we stay committed to the development of high-quality, technically credible standards.

The membership base of ASTM, supported by a competent and dedicated staff, is our greatest asset.
Relevant standardization projects accomplished in a timely, cost-effective manner is everyone's goal. The opportunities facing ASTM are significant and will provide many challenges for the effective blending of technological and human resources. The times ahead certainly will be exciting.

ASTM Standards Impacting the Public Playground Industry

The following ASTM Standards and Standard Guides are found in Volume 15.07 for Sports Equipment and Facilities; Pedestrian/Walkway safety and Footwear; Amusement Rides and Devices; Snow Skiing

F355 Standard Test Method for Shock-Absorbing Properties of Playing Surface Systems and Materials:
This test method covers the measurement of certain shock-absorbing characteristics, the impact force-time relationships, and the rebound properties of playing surface systems. This test method is applicable to natural and artificial playing surface systems and to components thereof. Typical playing surfaces are wrestling mats, football fields, soccer fields, playgrounds, and so forth.

F1292 Standard Specification for Impact Attenuation of Surfacing Materials within the Use Zone of Playground Equipment:
This specification establishes minimum performance requirements for the impact attenuation of playground surfacing materials installed within the use zone of playground equipment. This specification is specific to surfacing used in conjunction with playground equipment, such as that described in Specifications F 1148, F 1487, F 1918, F 1951, and F 2075 and establishes an impact attenuation performance criterion for playground surfacing materials expressed as a critical fall height based on three temperature test procedure in the laboratory.

F3313 Standard Test Method for Determining Impact Attenuation of Playground Surfaces Within the Use Zone of Playground Equipment as Tested in the Field:
This test method establishes procedures for determining the impact attenuation value of playground surfaces as tested in the field and for comparison with the test performed under
laboratory conditions in Specification F1292 and contract and warranty requirements. This test method does not establish the critical fall height for an installed playground surface.

F3351 Standard Test Method for Playground Surface Impact Testing in Laboratory at
Specified Test Height:
This test method covers all playground surfaces to be tested in a laboratory setting at a specific drop height established by the manufacturer of the playground surface to determine shock absorption properties at the specified height above the surface and to evaluate surfaces based on their Gmax and HIC values described in Specification F1292.

F1951 Standard Specification for Determination of Accessibility of Surface Systems Under and Around Playground Equipment:
This specification establishes minimum characteristics for those factors that determine accessibility. This specification applies to all types of materials that can be used under and around playground equipment and must also comply with Specification F1292 if the surface is within the fall zone. This specification does not imply that an injury cannot be incurred if the surface system complies with this specification.

F2075 Standard Specification for Engineered Wood Fiber for Use as a Playground Safety Surface Under and Around Playground Equipment:
This specification establishes minimum characteristics for those factors that determine particle size, consistency, purity, and ability to drain. Engineered wood fiber that meets the requirements of this specification must comply with Specification F 1292, if the surface is in the use zone as defined in Specification F 1487. A sample of wood fiber that meets the requirements of this specification may be designated engineered wood fiber and be suitable for playground safety surfacing but it does not imply that an injury cannot occur if the engineered wood fiber complies with this specification.

F2223 Standard Guide for ASTM Standards on Playground Surfacing:
This guide covers standards for selecting and specifying surface systems under and around playground equipment. This guide describes how to apply existing ASTM standards to evaluate the impact attenuation, accessibility characteristics and product characteristics when selecting surfacing systems for use under and around playground equipment. This guide does not imply that an injury cannot occur when the surface system complies with standards referred to in this guide.

F2479 Standard Guide for Specification, Purchase, Installation and Maintenance of Poured-In-Place Playground Surfacing:
This guide covers information with regard to the design, manufacture, installation, and maintenance of poured-in-place playground surfaces. This document is a guide and not intended to be used as a specification; it should be used for educational purposes. This guide outlines the issues of compliance with existing standards, durability, and functional longevity and reviews issues such as edge treatment, abutting surfaces, and combinations with other surfaces designed for circulation or protective surfaces. This guide presents maintenance considerations and general procedures that should be followed by the owner/operator. This guide outlines aging considerations such as loss of impact absorption, cracking, shrinkage, heaving, and how to prevent, accommodate, or rectify those issues. This guide presents warranty considerations and it does not imply that an injury cannot occur when the surface system is compliant with the standards referred to in this guide.

The Following Standards are found in Volume 15.11 for Consumer Products; Light Sports Aircraft; Unmanned Aircraft Systems; Normal and Utility Category Airplane Electrical System; Unmanned Undersea Vehicles (UUV) Systems

F1148 Standard Consumer Safety Performance Specification for Home Playground Equipment:
This consumer safety specification provides safety requirements for various types of home playground equipment intended for use by children aged from over eighteen months through 10 years. It provides requirements for swings intended specifically for toddlers. Different age limits for various requirements are found in this specification which reflects the nature of the hazards and the expected mental or physical ability, or both, of the child to cope with the hazards.

F1487 Standard Consumer Safety Performance Specification for Playground Equipment for Public Use:
This consumer safety performance specification provides safety and performance standards for various types of public playground equipment. Its purpose is to reduce life-threatening and debilitating injuries. The range of users encompassed by this consumer safety performance specification is the 5th percentile 2-year-old through the 95th percentile 12-year-old. Home playground equipment, amusement rides, sports equipment, fitness equipment intended for users over the age of 12, public use play equipment intended for children 6 months to 24 months, and soft contained play equipment are not included in this specification. Products or materials (site furnishings) that are installed outside the equipment use zone, such as benches, tables, and borders used to contain protective surfacing are not considered playground equipment and are not included in this specification. The standard does not address accessibility. Except as it pertains to the safety issues not covered in the Americans with Disabilities Act Accessibility Guidelines (ADAAG).

F1918 Standard Safety Performance Specification for Soft Contained Play Equipment:
This safety performance specification provides safety and performance standards for soft contained play equipment. Its purpose is to reduce the potential for life-threatening and debilitating injuries. The range of users encompassed by this consumer safety performance specification is the 5th percentile 2-year-old through the 95th percentile 12-year-old. Public playground equipment, home playground equipment, amusement rides, sports equipment, fitness equipment intended for users over the age of 12, water-related attractions and devices, and toys and juvenile products are not included in this specification. The standard does not address accessibility. Except as it pertains to the safety issues not covered in the Americans with Disabilities Act Accessibility Guidelines (ADAAG).

F2373 Standard Consumer Safety Performance Specification for Public Use Play Equipment for Children 6 Months through 23 Months:
This consumer safety specification provides safety and performance requirements for various types of public use play equipment; such as, but not limited to, composite play structures, climbing equipment, and slides. It is intended to apply to play equipment that is used in places of public assembly, including early care and education facilities, parks, or playgrounds. Public use play areas for children in this age range include both indoor (classroom) settings and outdoor playgrounds. Where appropriate, distinctions will be made between indoor and outdoor settings where there is supervision (for example, a play area that is part of an early care and education facility), and settings with unlimited access (for example, public playgrounds and parks). The range of user is the 5th percentile 6 month old through the 95th percentile 23 month old. The purpose is to reduce the potential for life-threatening and debilitating injuries. Accessory toys attached to play equipment must meet all relevant standards including this consumer safety performance specification. Home playground equipment, amusement park equipment, sports equipment, fitness equipment, soft contained play equipment, tricycles, toys, juvenile care products such as, but not limited to, infant swings, play yards, expansion gates, and expandable enclosures, furniture (including child-sized house play furnishings and sand-water tables intended primarily for indoor use), bassinets and cradles, infant walkers, bouncer seats, jumpers, infant stationary activity centers, and infant carriers are not included in the scope of this specification.

Much of the content of this article comes from the ASTM Web site and their various standards documents. ASTM International Headquarters, 100 Barr Harbor Drive, West Conshohocken, PA 19428-2959, USA, Phone: 610-832-9500

Canadian Standards Association

The Canadian Standards Association is a not-for-profit membership-based association serving business, industry, government and consumers in Canada and the global marketplace.
As a solutions-oriented organization, we work in Canada and around the world to develop standards that address real needs, such as enhancing public safety and health, advancing the quality of life, helping to preserve the environment, and facilitating trade.

We help people understand standards through education and information products and services. Each year, thousands of people benefit from the training materials, workshops and seminars offered by the CSA.

The CSA Z614:2020 Children's playspaces and equipment is the current Canadian playground safety standard. It supersedes the previous editions published under the same title and in 1990 under the title A Guideline on Children's Playspaces and Equipment.

In the 1998 edition of the Standard, the Technical Committee on Children's Playspaces and Equipment worked to harmonize the technical aspects of the play components with ASTM (American Society for Testing and Materials) F 1487, Standard Consumer Safety Performance Specification for Playground Equipment for Public Use. Significant changes were made at that time and in the 2003 edition. Wording throughout the document was clarified, spaces for small children were addressed, and additional information on surfacing materials was included.

Since the early days of this Standard, it has become easier to track injuries and fatalities in playspaces. Each year thousands of Canadian children are injured in playspaces, mostly from falls. In this 2007 edition, the Technical Committee has acknowledged the data on these injuries and has introduced changes to the fall heights for elevated platforms. To address accessibility, the Committee has added an annex intended to make playspaces more inclusive for people with disabilities. Continuing research in this area will produce further improvements. Furthermore, this edition recognizes emerging play elements, specifically multi-user to-fro swings. New criteria for these elements have been added. Playspaces that comply with this Standard will not prevent all injuries; a shared responsibility exists among users, owners/operators, and manufacturers. Well-designed and constructed playspaces in compliance with the requirements of this Standard create a foundation for safety. However, supervision of children is still vital to safe play. As well, proper maintenance of the playspace, equipment, and surfacing materials will further reduce injuries.

This Standard was prepared by the Technical Committee on Children's Playspaces and Equipment, under the jurisdiction of the Strategic Steering Committee on Community Well-being and Safety

European Technical Standards

Safety standards related to public playground environments, playground equipment and surfacing standards:
EN 1176-1 : Part 1: General safety requirements and test methods,
EN 1176-2 : Part 2: Additional specific safety requirements and test methods for swings
EN 1176-3 : Part 3: Additional specific safety requirements and test methods for slides
EN 1176-4, EN 1176-5, EN 1176-6, EN 1176-7, EN 1176-10, EN 1176-11, EN 1177

Standards Australia

Standards Australia is recognized by the Government as Australia's peak Standards body. It coordinates standardization activities, develops internationally aligned Australian Standards® that deliver Net Benefit to Australia, and facilitates the accreditation of other Standards Development Organizations. Through the Australian International Design Awards it promotes excellence in design and innovation for public play areas including guidance for labeling and maintenance of playground equipment, moveable play equipment and exercise equipment to minimize potential hazards. Also makes recommendations for the provision of impact absorbing surfaces, and the siting of play and exercise equipment, as well as indoor play areas and their surroundings.
DR 91167 Playgrounds and playground equipment - Public use AS 4685 Sections 1 through 6 - Playground equipment - particular safety requirements and test methods for specific pieces of equipment.

Singapore Playground Standards

SS 457 Specification for Playground Equipment for Public Use
This Singapore Standard was prepared by a Working Group appointed by the Technical Committee on General Safety under the direction of the Industrial Safety Standards Committee. It supersedes the section on playground equipment specified in SS 223: 1979 - 'Safety requirements for children's toys and playthings'.

This Singapore Standard specifies safety requirements for outdoor playground equipment. The aim is to reduce potential hazards in such equipment itself thereby reducing the risk of injury to children who use it. This standard covers hazards involving impact by swings and other moving equipment and contact with protrusions, pinch points and sharp edges.
This specification is based on ASTM F 1487 'Standard consumer safety performance specification for Playground equipment for public use'. In preparing this standard, references were also made to the following publications:

SS 495 Specification for Impact Attenuation of surface systems under and around playground equipment

This Singapore Standard was prepared by a Working Group appointed by the Technical Committee on General Safety under the direction of the Industrial Safety Standards Committee. It is scheduled to be revised in 2021.