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NZS5828 Standards Definitions

The playground standard uses specific terms and definitions - The official definitions may be found in the Standard, and the explanations which follow attempt to explain the main ones in everyday terms.

Climbing equipment: items on which children cannot stand unaided but must hold on,

requiring three points of contact unless moving.

Playing surface: the ground or the surface from which play commences.

Forced movement: a movement to which a child is committed by the design of the equipment (i.e. swinging, sliding or rotating).

Free space: the space in which children are undergoing a movement forced by the

equipment (i.e. slide chute or fireman's pole).

Falling space: a 3D space through which a child may fall from an elevated point on the


Free height of fall: distance from the clearly intended body support, or from a position

which can easily be reached, to the impact area.

Collective use: use by more than one user at a time.

Ladders, stairs and ramps: means of access or egress.

Impact Area: the area where the child will strike the surface after undergoing a fall.

Grip and grasp: a specific part of the equipment which the child needs in order to

support their weight will require grip, whilst a specific part the child requires for balance would require grasp.

Obstacle: a piece of the equipment extending into the path of movement.

Easily accessible: requiring only basic skills to access the equipment and not slowing the child sufficiently to allow time for a parent or carer to intervene.

Cluster: separate items designed to be grouped together (i.e. adventure trails).

Steep play element: a play feature steeper than 45° used to enter or leave equipment.

Adequate level of impact attenuation: properties of a surface having the necessary impact attenuation for a given free height of fall.


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