Sunday, 3 July 2011

Monkey bars!

A few months back we picked up a discounted set of monkey bars (aka horizontal ladders) from Bunnings.  They were reduced from $299 to $80 because the packaging was damaged and the bolts for attaching the bars to wooden posts were missing. There were about four sets of bars on sale.

Levelling the monkey bars
Last weekend I started assembling them myself, using about an extra $175 worth of materials (bolts, washers, nuts, four cypress pine posts, quick set concrete).  When it came to erecting them I needed a helping hand, which I received yesterday.

In the process of working out how and where to assemble them I found that the recommended height is 1.8 - 2.0 metres, and preferably 1.8m.  Soft fall is also important, to a depth of 250-300mm for up to 2.5m around the bars (Playground Equipment Safety Bulletin, February 2011). The Bulletin provides advice about selecting soft fall materials.

We've generally followed this advice, although without soft fall for a little while. The Bulletin identifies the following as the primary causes of injury from using monkey bars (p.8):


  • Trying to miss alternate bars - slipped off
  • Became tired and couldn't continue - dropped
  • Bars were too hot to handle - let go and fell
  • Jumped to grab bar - missed
From the above it is important that we we pay attention to the lawn beneath the bars to minimise the opportunity for injury.

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