Surface Attenuation Testing

Service Features

  • Playground Safety Compliance
  • Testing synthetic & rubberised services
  • Testing loose-fill material (eg: wood chips)
  • Testing for Compliance to AS4422

The most common cause of a serious playground injury is a fall from height onto the playground surface below. Therefore, appropriately impact-attenuated playground surfaces are a key safety strategy for injury prevention or minimising the severity of injuries caused by a fall from playground equipment.

Impact Attenuation of playground surfacing material is the measure of its shock absorbing properties. The shock absorbing properties are measured by dropping an instrumented metal head-form onto the surface and recording the force of impact and the time of deceleration.

AS4422 is the Australian Standard that provides the test procedure and pass/fail criteria for impact attenuation testing of the surface of a playground. While a playground surface may look and even "feel" acceptable, the only way to know whether or not a playground surface meets this standard is to conduct formal surface attenuation or “drop” testing.

Having a playground surface that does not meet the requirements as specified in AS4422 will result in increased injuries and also increased injury severity, and may expose the playground operator/owner to unwanted attention that may also include possible legal action in relation to the injured person.

Playgrounds with unitary surface material (synthetic/rubberised material) are required to be re-tested every 3 years. This is required because this type of material can lose its effectiveness over time.
Loose-fill surfaces do not require re-testing, providing material depth of 300mm is maintained.

Testing is conducted using Triax 2015 testing equipment, with the testing performed directly to the playground surface, with minimal interruption and no damage to the existing surface or materials. Testing is compliant with American (ASTM F1292), European (EN1177) and Australian (AS4422) standards for the measurement of shock (G) and head injury criteria (HIC) values.