Crush and Shear Hazards

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Crush and Shear Hazards

Crush and shear injuries–contusions, lacerations, amputation, and fractures– can occur at the juncture of two or more large playground components that have movement relative to each other or between a rigid and a swinging element and that do not have the proper clearance. A crush and shear point is any point that entraps a .62″ (15.7mm) ASTM test rod between moving components or adjacent stationary components such as decks and railings. Rolling parts should also be enclosed to prevent crush hazards.

Equipment that may cause crush and shear hazards

  • fulcrum seesaws
  • telescopes
  • merry-go-rounds
  • spring rocking apparatus
  • glide equipment
  • track rides

Inspections of this equipment can help to decrease risks of injury from this type of hazard. As older equipment begins to degrade, there is a risk of it creating a crush and shear hazard as seen below. This equipment passes inspection, but if it separates further it may create a crush and shear hazard.

crush and shear hazard on playground

Equipment that is missing bolts or other hardware can cause crush and shear hazards as well. Make sure to check that all bolts are in their correct place on your playground. SPots that are missing bolts can also create enclosing spaces what can injure children as well. See below:

crush and shear hazards on a playground

Crush and shear hazards are taken very seriously during inspections because they usually go unnoticed by people who have not been trained to find them. At Trassig, we encourage everyone to educate themselves on playground hazards so that they can be aware of what to watch out for while their own children are playing.