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Why can councils and others have confidence when buying our outdoor exercise equipment?

At Fresh Air Fitness, we fully appreciate that everyone buying and using our equipment for outdoor exercise has the right to expect a high level of safety and performance from it.

people using fresh air fitness double rower

12th June 2023

Equally, all European manufacturers can influence safety, and then their information is collated into an agreed standard. For the avoidance of doubt, standards are technical specifications which define agreed requirements for products, services, processes or testing methods. Meanwhile, the UK has one of the world’s strongest product safety systems, underpinned by extensive product safety legislation.

The European Committee for Standardisation (CEN) develops European Standards (ES). The British Standards (BS) Institute, the UK’s national standards body is a CEN member, and so adopts any new European standards. (This has not been affected by Brexit.) 

Standards adoption is voluntary and part of a consensual, transparent process. There’s no legal obligation involved, although a judge or lawyer may refer to the relevant standard should an incident results in legal proceedings. 

But we also know that applying a standard gives our customers confidence that the gym equipment that they are buying from us meets minimum safety requirements. 

Our founder Paul Martin, who brought the concept of Outdoor Gyms to the UK in 2007, was part of the committee that developed the standard applying to outdoor fitness items.  As the concept grew in popularity, he wanted to ensure the public’s safety by having a standard in place.  

What is BS EN 16630: 2015?

BS EN 16630: 2015 is the European standard which outlines general safety requirements for manufacturing, fitting, inspecting and maintaining permanently installed, freely accessible outdoor fitness equipment. This covers kit for the purpose of exercise for users of all ages more than 1.4mm tall. It does not include electrically powered equipment, functional training facilities (typically with unrestrained weights) or military-style obstacle courses.

Equally, the standard does not cover: 

·       Children’s playground equipment (which falls under the EN 1176 series)

·       Indoor stationary training equipment (covered by the EN 957 series)

·       Free access multi-sports equipment (included with the EN 15312 series

(And, incidentally, this remains the case even if items meet the requirements of each of these standards.) 

Safety requirements and testing methods within the standard are classified in these Industrial Control System (ICS) categories:

·       97.220.40 Outdoor and water sports equipment


Safety and testing requirements for outdoor gym equipment

Since a lot of outdoor gym kit incorporates moving parts, to meet the standard the equipment must minimise crushing and shearing and entrapment of users’ body parts. The standard also looks at how much space is around each item, and at labelling and marking. 

Additionally, it recommends routine visual and operational inspections, plus an annual inspection. 

The UK's leading outdoor fitness equipment specialist

Fresh Air Fitness is a leading UK provider of outdoor gym equipment for a diverse client base including councils, schools, care homes and others. We follow all relevant standards, and our products are certified accordingly. Meanwhile, the product range is hugely varied, and aimed at a range of ages and abilities, with many items being suitable for wheelchair users

Get in touch today to learn more about how an outdoor gym could benefit your community. 

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