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September/October 2009

Home Playground Equipment

A recent revision to ASTM standard F1148, Consumer Safety Performance Specification for Home Playground Equipment, reflects the purpose of the standard, which is to reduce the likelihood of life-threatening or debilitating injuries. The revised version of F1148 no longer allows home playground sets designed with swings that attach to an upper body component (such as “monkey bars”).

According to Teresa Hendy, president, Site Masters Inc., and chair of Subcommittee F15.09 on Home Playground Equipment, this change will eliminate potentially hazardous situations such as:

  • Conflicts in circulation patterns;
  • Conflicts in use patterns;
  • Children falling from an upper body component onto an underlying or adjacent swinging component and becoming injured; or
  • Children attempting to access an upper body component from a swinging component and becoming injured.

“F1148 shows manufacturers and owner/operators design criteria based on research, injury data and what is common practice in the industry,” says Scott Burton, president, Safety Play Inc., and an F15.09 member. “Eliminating the combination of monkey bars over swings in the revised ASTM standard also aids purchasers. With F1148-09, an informed consumer can decide not to purchase playground equipment with that design incorporated into it.”

F1148 is under the jurisdiction of Subcommittee F15.09, part of ASTM International Committee F15 on Consumer Products. Participation in Subcommittee F15.09 on future revisions to F1148 is welcome, particularly from consumers.


Technical Information: Teresa Hendy, Site Masters Inc., Cincinnati, Ohio

Phone: 513-922-1499

Scott Burton, Safety Play Inc., St. Petersburg, Fla.

Phone: 727-522-0061

ASTM Staff: Leonard Morrissey

Phone: 610-832-9719