On a bright and sunny day, a grandmother took her grandchild to a public park. The grandmother encountered a playground device that was essentially a large ring at an angle to the ground. The top surface of the ring was on a series of ball bearings such that the ring could freely rotate. The grandmother sat on the ring with her grandchild, the ring rotated, and the grandmother lost her balance, fell, and was injured.
ARCCA’s expert performed a site inspection.
The site inspection revealed the device’s manufacturer and model number. The site inspection also revealed no signs or instructions as to the device’s intended use.
Engineering research revealed that the device was designed outside of the US. Although purporting to comply with the CPSC Guidelines for Playground Safety, the device did not fall into any of the categories in the CPSC Guidelines.
Engineering research of the manufacturer’s site revealed the intended use was for children to run on top of the wheel and then fall off onto the ground.
Further engineering research revealed a collection of publicly posted videos of the device being misused intentionally and unintentionally.
Based on the site inspection and engineering research, ARCCA’s expert was able to determine that although the device didn’t fit into an exact category within the CPSC guidelines, it was obvious that the device did not comply with the basic engineering safety requirements of playground equipment — namely: posted use warnings and instructions, drop zone padding or surface maintenance, stabilizing hand holds, a method to prevent uncontrolled fall onto the ground, a method to prevent children from falling onto other children, and a method to prevent children from falling onto or being struck by the spinning device.