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What's New with Z614-20

Published on 
02/06/2020
 - 
Author: 
Peter Kells

This is the sixth edition of CSA Z614,Children’s playground equipment and surfacing. It supersedes the previous editions, published in 2014, 2007, 2003, 1998, and 1990 under the title Children’s playspaces and equipment.

Changes to this edition include the following:

a) added a clause and supporting Annex J to allow for new play components that might not specifically fit into the prescriptive play component types listed in this Standard;

b) modified the user age groups to account for children of different abilities;

c) expanded on the developmental needs of children;

d) changes to the acceptability of various surfacing materials where the fall height is not greater than 450 mm;

e) climbing net structures requirements have been harmonized with ASTM F1487;

f) updated Annex H to improve clarity and make changes to the elevated component counts;

g) updated Table G.1; and

h) added a new annex on thermal comfort (Annex K).

Specific changes that will have an impact on new play equipment and surfacing are as follows:

Clause 3.0 – the term playspace is removed and all references to playspace in the Standard have been updated to the word playground

Clause 7.4 – added a new reference to natural materials with specific references to stone, natural logs and branches, and water

Clause 10.3 – natural ground (such as earth, soil, and sod) can be considered as adequate fall height protection for elevated play elements with a fall height no greater than 450 mm, provided that the play element does not impart movement to the body of the user (e.g., swings, slides , rocking, springing and rotating equipment)

Clause 12.2.1.3 – enclosed swing seats and swing seats with adjustable elements to hold the user upright or prevent falling out are now exempt from head entrapment requirements

Clause 12.6.3.2 - enclosed swing seats and swing seats with adjustable elements to hold the user upright or prevent falling out are now exempt from rope, cable, or chain looping requirements

Clause 13 – rung ladders have been removed as an access/egress component and are now considered a form of climber

Clause 14.6.3 – the width of the protective surface area for small embankment slides (slide height ≤ 1/5 m) is now reduced

Clause 15.1 – new play components, including modifications, or additional elements, might not specifically fit into the play component types listed in clause 15. In those instances, the designer or manufacturer, or both, shall, using professional judgement, perform and document a hazard identification and risk/benefit assessment (see examples provided in Annex J) and take necessary actions to minimize the likelihood of serious and/or life-threatening injuries. In addition, other clauses in this Standard, where applicable, shall apply.

Clause 15.6.4.4 – the area at a slide entrance just before the “sit down bar” shall meet the guardrail/barrier criteria of any other platform note: this may cause issues for a small number of existing products in the field

Annex H – fourteen play experiences have been added to the definitions which are now used to calculate the required component ratios as per table H.1 and the maximum number of components allowed to be accessible by transfer system is now calculated based on user age group

Annex J – this is a new annex that provides information regarding hazard identification and risk/benefit analysis for playgrounds

Annex K – this is a new annex that provides practical advice for the management of thermal comfort in design (or retrofit) and maintenance of both new and existing playgrounds in the context of Canadian climates

CSA Z614:20 is available from the Canadian Standards Association at https://store.csagroup.org/

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