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EuroAmusement Professional 4-2017

Seite 104 EuroAmusement Professional 4-2017BusinessReport
Ein riesiges Raumnetz innerhalb
einer Glasfassade können
die Besucher der Swarovski
Kristallwelten in Wattens erklimmen.

authorities on the subject of
heights and floor coverings or
the dangers of getting stuck, for
example in rope play structures.

Sorgfalt regelmäßiger Wartung und Inspektion seitens des Betreibers ­ ein. Den
Spielgeräteherstellern sollte es jedoch
nicht nur Pflicht, sondern auch Kür sein,
sicherzustellen, dass die Spielplatzgeräte zum Zeitpunkt der Auslieferung nach
der gültigen Fassung der Norm gefertigt
sind. Wenn schließlich die Montagearbeiten ebenfalls DIN EN 1176-konform
erfolgen ­ wofür der jeweilig zuständige Auftragnehmer die Verantwortung
trägt ­, sollte der Abnahme durch einen
SPEC-Prüfer nichts im Wege stehen.
Das Spiel kann beginnen! (SP)

Safety with
Rope Play Structure
Even "On the Ropes" Kids Should
Feel Safe
Things can get pretty emotional when
the topic turns to safety at children's
playgrounds or with playground
equipment. Particularly strong feelings
often come into play in discussions
between playground equipment
manufacturers, operators or inspection
104 EuroAmusement Professional 4/2017

To add a greater sense of
objectivity to the topic we want
to take a look at the playground
norms following the opinions
expressed on product safety and
testing procedures by The German
Association of Indoor Playgrounds
(VDH) in our May issue. Technical
safety requirements for playground
equipment are established in the
current version of the DIN EN
1176 norm from the summer of
2009. At its core the topic revolves
around two issues: How much
safety is necessary to protect
children from unforeseen hazards?
And secondly, how much risk is
possible in order to ensure that
kids enjoy playing, train their own
self-protective conduct and are
additionally able to develop a sense of
identifying hazards on their own.
To find out we spoke with Jörg Prechter
and Karl Köhler from Berliner
Seilfabrik, a rope play equipment
manufacturer that has had a seat on the
norm committee for years and whose
expertise in rope play equipment has
allowed them to co-design the norm
segment entitled "Spatial Networks"
(DIN EN 1176-11). The previously noted
risk issues already make it clear that the
balance between safety and utility on
playgrounds already assumes a certain
degree of danger which children are
confronted with when playing on the
equipment. The introduction section
of the norm justifies this on the basis
that climbing and playing represent
a fundamental human need and that
such facilities provide children with
the opportunity to learn about hazards
and their consequences in a controlled
environment. Jörg Prechter explains,
"This is why while the norm establishes
clear criteria designed to protect children
from accidents with severe injuries,
milder injuries such as bruising, pinching
or broken bones are accepted within the
framework of the accepted risk".

Berliner Seilfabrik Managing Partner
Karl Köhler explains what is meant
by "Spatial Network". He tells us, "It
refers specifically to climbing structures
comprised of geometrical, threedimensional arrangements of ropes or
chains that are therefore flexible. These
kinds of spatial networks are found
with central mast structures, rope play
houses or custom-made projects from
Berliner Seilfabrik". The special appeal
of such playground equipment lies in its
diversity, allowing the imagination of
the children to have fun freely without
limitation. Mr. Köhler elaborates, "They
are always trying out new entrances
to climb, play on and experience the
play structure. Climbing in this space
reinforces their psycho-motor skills and
social conduct. They learn not to push
someone off of a rope, but instead giving
tips to playfellows where to best place
their foot for the next step".
Most problems in the past came in the
observation of fall heights with spatial
networks and within the structures
because they frequently received very
different evaluations. This resulted in a
need to define additional requirements
especially for these kinds of rope play
structures. Jörg Prechter explains,
"Since a child has to look for at least
three securing points when climbing
in a spatial network in order to make
progress, it can be assumed that the
safeguarding level is higher than
standing freely on a normal space".
Karl Köhler elaborates, "Our tallest
rope play apparatus is a little over
13 meters high. Of course this looks
dangerous if you're standing at the top
looking down through the netting. But
this is precisely what makes the risk
visible for the user, who then behaves
with greater caution". The result is
that a dangerous looking play structure
influences the conduct of the user
and therefore reduces the danger of a
serious injury.
The mesh size of a spatial network
also appears to be an important factor
in the safety of rope play structure
equipment. More specifically, an
involuntary fall through the mesh
should not even be possible since a
fall should be slowed by reflexive arm
movements. "The important thing is
to get the right balance between safety

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