Playing It Safe
According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), more than 200,000 children go to the emergency room from playground related injuries, mostly due to falls from equipment. Playground Chips/Mulch are specially designed to prevent these type of injuries.
Ensuring children’s safety while at play is the primary goal of playground chips. Often called Engineered Wood Fiber (EWF), it is designed specifically for outdoor play surfaces such as playgrounds. EWF should meet safety specifications for playground access and fall protection set by the American Disabilities Act (ADA) and the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM).
Playground Chips/Mulch typically have a fibrous consistency, free of twigs, leaves and hazardous materials, no larger than two inches long and have the ability to drain water. It also has a springy surface while allowing wheelchair access.
The CPSC provides additional guidelines for engineered wood fiber installation, recommending a 12″ minimum depth.
The Astec Advantage
Playground Chips/Mulch can be made a number of ways as long as it meets ASTM and ADA standards. Every manufacturer has a different method based on their equipment and feedstock.
EWF is commonly made from wood chips by re-grinding them through a horizontal grinder to create a fibrous edge giving better impact resistance and interlocking abilities for wheelchair accessibility.
Peterson blower trucks and trailers are an ideal tool for distributing playground surfaces.