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Surface Impact Test

Falls are the primary cause of medical attention and the leading cause of serious head, neck, and back injuries on playgrounds. Around 70% of playground injuries are due to falls onto inadequate or hard surfaces, which often result in long-bone fractures in arms and legs.

To ensure that your playground surface can effectively prevent these injuries, Playsafe offers a Certified Surface Impact Test. This test measures your playground surface's ability to meet the critical fall height requirements of the relevant play equipment and provides an electronic report verifying its compliance with NZS5828:2015 + EN1177 head injury standards.

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Playsafe's Certified Surface Impact Test verifies the compliance of your playground surface with the head injury performance requirements of the NZS5828:2015 + EN1177.


Our testing process involves mimicking a potential fall with a head-form device equipped with sensors and accelerometers that measure speed, velocity, and Gmax, among other parameters.

The height of the potential fall from each play activity is measured, and a series of drops are performed to determine the compliance of the surface. The impact severity is measured per drop in terms of the Head Injury Criteria (HIC) and a drop curve graph is produced to calculate the Critical Fall Height (CFH). This ensures that your playground surface is safe for children and protects them from head, neck, and back injuries.

Playsafe's Surface Impact Test includes:


  • Impact drop Test using the HIC Surface Impact Tester, tested against corresponding to activity fall heights.

  • Determination of Critical Fall height from each activity FHF.

  • Severity of the impact measured per drop in terms of the Head Injury Criteria.

  • A drop curve graph is then produced from all selected heights/drops obtained.

  • Digital Test Report stating (Pass/Fail) including photos.

  • Summary of surface condition

Common Surfaces Tested:

Play Matta Tiles, Numat Tiles, Wetpour Rubber, Synthetic Turf Grass with or without sand infill, Pour N Play and any other surface materials or systems.  


Playsafe's Certified Surface Impact Test ensures that your playground surface continues to meet the required head injury performance standards as outlined in NZS5828 + EN1177. Over time, all surfaces will experience degradation, which may lead to non-compliance with impact absorption standards. This test will identify any such issues, providing peace of mind and ensuring the safety of all users before potential failure or injury occurs.

Test Types

Playsafe conducts on-site (in-situ) testing of existing surface installations. For surface product system materials we can provide certification testing at our premises - contact us for more info

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