Playground Surface Impact Testing Services


Contact Kidsafe NSW Playground Advisory Unit by or call 02 9845 0899 to discuss your requirements for surface impact attenuation testing.

Kidsafe NSW regularly receives enquiries from playground owners regarding playground surfacing and how to determine if their surfacing is compliant with the Australian Standard.

Surface impact testing (also known as drop testing)  may be required for the following reasons;

  • New surfacing has been installed and compliance with AS4422 needs to be verified,
  • Playground surfacing is 3 years old and as specified in AS4685.0 testing needs to be completed post installation and every 3 years to ensure surfacing is still compliant.
  • Ownership/management of an existing playground may have changed hands and certificates of compliance may not be accessible/available.

What is Playground Surfacing?

Playground surfacing is impact attenuating material required in the impact area of playground equipment with a free height of fall greater than 600mm. The provision of adequate playground surfacing will minimise the incidence and severity of head injury.

Types of Playground Surfacing

There are commonly 2 types of playground surfacing materials;

Loose fill includes products such as playground mulch and sand. The cushioning effect of loose fill is achieved by the trapping of air between uniformed particles. Loose fill is to be installed at a depth of 300mm and maintained at 200mm.

Unitary surfacing includes continuous surfacing types with a wear layer such as synthetic grass and wet pour rubber. The impact attenuating quality of the underlying materials varies according to the type and thickness installed.

The testing of impact attenuating surfaces

The testing of surfacing is required by AS 4685.0, Playground equipment and surfacing -  Development, installation, inspection, maintenance and operation and is specified to be conducted post installation and then every 3 years. It provides evidence that playground surfacing is performing as it is intended to and in compliance with AS 4422, Playground surfacing - Specifications, requirements and test method.

Testing of playground surfacing is conducted for unitary playground surfacing to confirm that the installation meets the critical fall height required for the equipment utilised in this space and in compliance with AS 4422.

Loose fill materials should be purchased with a certificate of compliance which specifies test results complying with AS 4422. The installation of loose fill needs to be maintained to a depth of 300mm and maintained at 200mm.