Children discover and learn about the world in which they live via play, which provides an essential element of children’s development and growth. The balance between challenge and safety is an important consideration for all play providers. Indoor contained play facilities that children find attractive are generally those that present various levels of difficulty and challenge. Well designed contained play facilities have the potential to provide children with managed risk, challenge and, most importantly, fun, excitement and exercise.
There were a growing number of contained play facilities being installed around Australia that did not and/or could not comply with the requirements in the outdoor playground Australian Standards. It was also noted that the quality and safety of contained play facilities being installed varied widely. While other Australian Standards cover equipment commonly found within contained play facilities, the new standard AS 3533.4.2 Amusement rides and devices – Contained play facilities was developed to provide requirements and guidelines that specifically suit this environment and the unique aspects of such facilities. The Standard will set out general safety requirements for the development, installation, inspection, maintenance and operation of contained play facilities. Developing and maintaining these facilities in accordance with Standards will help minimize the risk of injury occurring and the severity of any injury that may occur.
CFA representative Prof. Raphael Grzebieta is on the Standards Australia Technical Committee ME-051 which is developing and amending the AS 3533 series of standards that cover aspects of safety for amusement rides and devices. It is anticipated AS 3533.4.2 will be published before the end of the year.