Safety rubber for sports and playgrounds

by Tania Wannenburg
Quartz jnl713

Seamless Flooring Systems is a leading distributor of rubber safety flooring systems in sub-Saharan Africa, offering various systems based on safety requirements, budget and aesthetics.

Tyres are amongst the largest and most problematic sources of waste, due to their durability. This same characteristic makes waste tyre rubber one of the best waste materials for re-use as it is very dense, resilient and will hold up to the harshest commercial applications. While feeling soft, tyre rubber is incredibly tough and good-looking.

PLAYSaFE Recycled Rubber is great for the environment as well, as there is no effective technology for disposing of tyres. Tyre does not contain harmful levels of lead and the material concentrations that make up tyre rubber are well below levels that are considered to be of concern. The recycled rubber that PLAYSaFE uses are the offcuts of the tyre manufacturing process which contain no metal and are 100% uncontaminated.

For brightly coloured playgrounds PLAYSaFE imports EPDM rubber. This same EPDM rubber was used on all the sports tracks at the London 2012 Olympic Games and the Berlin athletics track on which Usain Bolt set the world 100m record of 9.58 seconds in 2009.

The EPDM safety rubber that PLAYSaFE uses in its seamless safety rubber flooring systems has been in constant development for over 70 years. It is claimed to be the most advanced and evolved rubber available on the market today and has played a massive role in the historical timelines of rubber development worldwide.

The core specialty of this rubber is the synthetic adaptation of this valuable raw material for industrial, commercial and domestic internal and external applications. When combined with additives, this safety rubber offers a number of robust and durable application possibilities.

Every year serious injuries and even fatalities occur in playgrounds and recreational areas demarcated for leisure activities for children. 70% of these injuries are due to the lack of protective surfacing under playground equipment.

South Africa is one of the few countries in the world that does not enforce its legislation regarding safety flooring in playgrounds, parks and crèches. PLAYSaFE has committed to work side by side with the South African Playground Safety Institute (SAPSI) in an effort to make playgrounds safe for our children.

Unless we, as ambassadors of good and safe flooring practice in South Africa, do something to speed up the implementation of the safety floor process, our children are going to continue to be injured and maimed in a place that is supposed to be fun and safe to play in.

Legislation and regulations do not allow construction workers to work higher than three metres from the ground without the support of special safety gear. We, on the other hand, allow our children to play on very high structures without any thought of safety or safety measures.

Any play structure higher than 600mm above the ground should have an impact or fall surface underneath and around the play structure. The height of the play structure determines the thickness the playground surface must have as described in ASTM F1292. This test provides the critical fall height rating for the playground surface.

For further information contact Sheralee Theron at sheralee@seamlessflooring.co.za or call 086 178 2789 or visit www.play-safe.co.za.

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