We’ve compiled links to the playground building standards of different countries for your convenience, some of which may require purchase. Please reference these standards if required.
If your country does not have specific playground building standards or guidelines, we suggest you read our “Playground Safety Handbook”, which covers the most common playground hazards and generally conforms to the European/AUS/NZ standards as of July 2011.
For more information we also suggest the US public playground safety handbook that also has free, detailed information about all the most common playground hazards based on US standards. Note: the handbook does not contain information for manufacturers, such as strength and loading requirements. Please consult your local building codes and local builders and engineers for this information.
Playground Safety Handbook: A pictorial guide to the basics of international safety standards
Standards Australia for a full list of standards.
The key public standards are:
Playground equipment – General safety requirements and test methods.
Playgrounds and playground equipment – Development, installation, inspection, maintenance and operation.
Playground surfacing – Specifications, requirements and test methods.
There are also amendments to these standards and further specific standards for equipment such as slides and swings. The Australian playground standards are available for purchase.
The British playground standards are available for purchase.
The Canadian playground standards are available for purchase.
US standards relating to playgrounds: ASTM International, formerly known as the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM)
Select “Search within Standards” and search for the word “playground” to access playground-related standards.
Some specific US standards relating to playground equipment and surfacing:
ASTM F1487 – 07ae1: Standard consumer safety performance specification for playground equipment for public use
ASTM F2373 – 08: Standard consumer safety performance specification for public use play equipment for children six months through 23 months
ASTM F1148 – 09: Standard consumer safety performance specification for home playground equipment
The ASTM playground standards are available for purchase.
US guidelines relating to playground safety and access:
The CPSC is an excellent source of research on playground-related safety and is what our safety manual is based on. They also publish the US public playground safety handbook, an invaluable resource in playground construction.
The ADA guidelines, while not yet part of the legal requirements for the US, are useful for ensuring that a playground is accessible to children of all abilities. While not yet part of the legal requirements for the US, these guidelines are useful to ensure a playground is accessible to children of all abilities.
Inclusive Design Manual: A guide to creating play spaces which welcome children of all abilities