protrusion hazard - playground inspection CT protrusion hazard - playground inspection CT protrusion hazard - playground inspection NJ

Protrusions and Projections

A rigid projection becomes a protrusion hazard when it extends beyond the recommended ASTM standard, which is measured by placing three projection test gauges over the projecting bolts, fasteners, steps and handles. The gauges measure 0.5″, 1.5″ and 3.00″ in diameter. Projections become hazards when they extend beyond the recommended distance. Protrusions can cause bodily injury due to impact.

Projections on equipment can be a:

  • long bolt
  • handle
  • pipe end
  • rung
  • nail

If any of these projections are present, it is likely that children will run right into them. They can be found on several areas of a playground such as composite sets, swing sets, and spring riders. Projections, depending on their sizes, become different types of high-priority protrusion hazards when they can spike, pierce, and stab a child’s temple, enter his/her eye socket, or bruise internal organs.They are especially dangerous because they can also cause entanglement because clothing can get stuck in the protrusions. If clothing becomes entangled, it can often cause strangulation. Playground inspections should include the measuring of all projections to ensure they meet the requirements of ASTM 6.3 – 6.4.4. 

Spring Riders and Old Equipment

In our experience, we often find protrusion hazards on playgrounds while performing inspections. Long bolts can lose their nuts underneath the equipment without the owner even knowing. Inspections are important for this reason. There might be hazards that someone may never think to check for. Bolts underneath can go unnoticed but if a child should play underneath the platform where they are, they can pierce their skull.

The spring riders that your child may love may be outdated on public playgrounds. Like in the photo above of the horse spring rider, the handlebars create a protrusion hazard. Old spring riders are the perfect eye-level height for children to puncture themselves. Likewise, sometimes they have projections that are used to climb but can actually cause an injury.

Old equipment can cause many problems because the codes change frequently.