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2001 FIN – Playground Fasteners Aren’t Just Toys

December 04
00:00 2012

2001 FIN – Playground Fasteners Aren’t Just Toys

September 11, 2001 FIN – Everybody can imagine the problems of bridge or aerospace fasteners failing. But a recent recall of backyard swingset screws brings to light how even the seemingly simplest screw is vital.
Hedstrom Corp. of Bedford, PA, recalled 190,000 swings to repair seats that can fall off, causing children to drop to the ground.
Hedstrom had received 291 reports of seats falling, including 19 cases of children suffering cuts, scrapes and bruises, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission.
In a separate situation, Rocky Polzin knows from installing school playground equipment in Portland, OR, that school districts are particularly sensitive to playground equipment safety, because victims and attorneys know they have insurance.
“It is the difference between a kitchen knife breaking at home and a scalpel blade breaking off in a patient,” Polzin described the situation.
On the job site Polzin found half of the bolts in one brand of equipment would strip out and break off.
“Out of 10 half-inch coarse threaded bolts, five would strip out,” Polzin recalled. “We would run out of bolts before we got finished and had to stop work. We called in to have them send out another 10 so we could find five to finish the job.”
In some cases Polzin questioned even some of the replacement bolts and pointed out potential problems to the school district. The school district replaced the fasteners from maintenance stock.
Polzin worries about where fasteners he rejected went. They could be used in benches, handicap bathroom hardware or exit signs in commercial buildings, he noted. “I don’t know where they sold those bolts. I doubt they melted them down.” Editor’s Note: Repair kits for the Star Cruiser and Rocket Rider swings are available from Hedstrom. Tel: 800 642-9193.  ©2001/2012 Fastener Industry News
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