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Copyright 2005, Connor Sport Court International Improving Gym Safety Using Alternatives to VCT Flooring AIA/CES Program # 252525.

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Presentation on theme: "Copyright 2005, Connor Sport Court International Improving Gym Safety Using Alternatives to VCT Flooring AIA/CES Program # 252525."— Presentation transcript:

1 Copyright 2005, Connor Sport Court International Improving Gym Safety Using Alternatives to VCT Flooring AIA/CES Program #

2 This program is registered with the AIA/CES for continuing professional education. As such, it does not include content that may be deemed or construed to be an approval or endorsement by the AIA of any material of construction of any method or manner of handling, using, distributing, or dealing in any material or product. Questions related to specific materials, methods, and services will be addressed at the conclusion of this presentation.

3 Learning Objectives Understand the characteristics of Vinyl Composition Tile (VCT) Identify critical safety concerns when considering VCT for use in a school gymnasium environment Learn the importance of specifying alternatives to VCT flooring in the gym

4 Resilient: (ri-zil-yent) Characterized or marked by resilience as: a: capable of withstanding shock without permanent deformation or rupture b: tending to recover from or adjust easily to misfortune or change Synonym: see Elastic Source: (Merriam-Webster)http://www.m-w.com U N D E R S T A N D

5 Resilient Flooring Defined Resilient flooring refers to flooring materials which have a relatively firm surface, yet characteristically have give and bounce back to their original surface profile from the weight of objects that compress its surface. Source: Resilient Floor Coverings Institute website U N D E R S T A N D

6 Resilient Flooring Defined Ceramic and stone are hard, cold and tough on the things which get dropped. Resilient is warm, comfortable, forgiving and very easy to maintain. Source: Flooring Magazine June/July 2004 issue – Resilient: What's New & How to Sell It article by Janine Nunes, editor U N D E R S T A N D

7 What is Vinyl Composition Tile? 15% consists of fillers Typically 1/8 thick (3.2 mm) 12 x 12 glued down squares Suitable for numerous applications including hallways, classrooms, and many stores... Never intended to provide cushioning or shock absorption U N D E R S T A N D 85% natural limestone

8 VCT History Vinyl Composition Tile (VCT) hard surface flooring is the successor to VAT (Vinyl Asbestos Tile) – a hard-surface, durable flooring. With concerns over asbestos, VAT was replaced by VCT which is frequently specified because it generally costs less at installation than the other flooring choices. U N D E R S T A N D Sources: August 2002 ISSUETRAK From the Ground Up: Floor Covering Recommendations From an IAQ Consortium by David Frank; According to a brief from the Council of Educational Facilities Planners International (CEFPI)

9 There is great concern within the educational community about the ergonomic failings of VCT. VCTs hard surface is prone to glare, slips and falls, and noise escalation. U N D E R S T A N D

10 VCT in Other Applications According to National Floor Safety Institute, grocery stores spend $450 million annually to defend slip-and-fall claims Many install rubber mats/surfacing in moisture-prone produce departments to avoid slip-and-fall injuries and lawsuits I D E N T I F Y

11 Child Safety and VCT Consumer Product Safety Alert More than 23,000 children ages 14 and under are treated annually for injuries related to shopping carts Seventy-four percent of these injuries are to the head and neck – resulting from falls to the non-forgiving surface below I D E N T I F Y Source: U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission

12 VCT in the School Gymnasium Due to budget and space limitations, most middle and elementary schools resort to using VCT in their gymnasiums… (which) creates safety hazards... There may not be an injury right away from playing basketball on a hard surface, but eventually theres going to be a problem. I D E N T I F Y Source: Recreation Management online; Kids Flooring Choices: Poor to Middling? - Sandy Kate, Partner with Fanning / Howey Associates Inc.

13 Multi-Purposing of School Gyms Elementary/middle school gyms often double as cafeterias Maintenance staff are challenged to keep floor completely clean of food and spills as P.E. classes enter after lunch, increasing the likelihood of slip-and-fall accidents I D E N T I F Y

14 Activities Played Relay races Volleyball Cheerleading Kickball Dodgeball Running laps Fitness/exercising Jumping/rope I D E N T I F Y

15 Activities Played Ropes/rock walls Floor hockey Dancing Tag After school programs Basketball Gymnastics/tumbling I D E N T I F Y

16 Video: Demonstrating Resiliency

17 VCT: Not Meant for Active Play Playing on a hard or inappropriate surface causes knee, shin, and ankle problems especially tendonitis and stress fractures. I D E N T I F Y Eric Small, MD, Author of Kids & Sports: Everything you and your child need to know about Sports, Physical Activity, Nutrition, and Good Health - Eric Small, MD

18 VCT: Not Meant for Active Play Stress fractures can result from participation in many activities and sports, especially those requiring running and jumping. I D E N T I F Y Source: American Academy of Family Physicians

19 Because (a) child's bones are still growing, he is vulnerable to an additional type of fracture that does not occur in adults. This involves damage to the growth plates at the ends of the bones (which) regulate future growth. I D E N T I F Y

20 Friction (Traction) is Also Important A gym floor must have enough surface friction to prevent premature and uncontrollable sliding, while at the same time allowing some sliding if an extreme force is exerted¹ Too little or too much friction can be a safety hazard Due to its 85% limestone content, VCT tends to be dangerously slick, especially after polishing and buffing I D E N T I F Y ¹Source:

21 School Injuries More than 53 million children spend one-fourth of their total waking hours in or on school property An estimated 2.2 million children ages 14 and under sustain school-related injuries each year Approximately 715,000 sports or recreation related injuries occur in and around schools each year I D E N T I F Y Source:

22 School Injuries School-age children are nine times more likely to sustain an unintentional injury (everyday accidents) than to be a victim of an intentional injury (i.e. fights) while at school The most frequent causes of school-related injuries requiring hospitalization are falls (43%) and sports related activities (34%) I D E N T I F Y Source:

23 Without proper protection, a fall of as little as two feet can result in a skull fracture or other traumatic brain injury. I D E N T I F Y

24 The Evolution of the Playground Asphalt & concrete were once considered appropriate surfaces for school playgrounds 70% of all playground injuries were caused by falls to non-resilient surfaces I D E N T I F Y

25 The Evolution of the Playground Most schools have upgraded playgrounds with more resilient, safer surfacing The gym may now be the most dangerous place on school property I D E N T I F Y

26 School Gyms: A Similar Evolution While VCT may be appropriate in many areas including school hallways – it is never a safe surface when active play is required I D E N T I F Y

27 The Hard Truth About VCT The ASTM F tests a surfaces resilience and failure height using HIC (Head Impact Criterion) and GMAX scores This test has shown that concrete is 16 times harder than most floors designed for active play. (3/4 fall height failure rating) VCT is 8 times harder than most floors designed for active play (1.5 fall height failure rating) I D E N T I F Y

28 A Higher Standard for Safety We had a choice - a tile (VCT) or a quality product (suspended synthetic)… it was a no-brainer for us, we wanted something safe… the bottom line is safety for the kids. L E A R N - - Dexter Inovejas, P.E. Teacher Southwood Valley Elementary College Station, TX

29 L E A R N Video: A Principals Experience

30 Encouraging Gym Safety Specify a floor that is engineered to provide an appropriate level of impact protection Specify a surface that will absorb a portion of the impact to head, bones, and teeth Consider friction: Not too much slip or grip Share this message with everyone involved in the project L E A R N Ft. Calhoun Public Schools - Ft. Calhoun, Nebraska

31 Needs to Consider Safety: Specify a surface that will absorb a higher portion of impact from falls during play. Also look for the appropriate amount of surface friction Multipurpose durability: Look for durable alternatives to VCT that will provide the versatility and ease of maintenance needed in the school environment Performance: Find a balance between safety and performance (i.e. ball bounce vs. shock absorption) Cost: Specify a product that will provide the best overall value over time L E A R N

32 VCT is NOT an Appropriate Surface Whenever Active Play is Expected L E A R N Concrete & VCT Resilient Sports Surface The decision should be made upfront to specify the appropriate level of resilience for the project High Probability of Head Injury Lower Probability of Head Injury GMAX > 200* HIC > 1000* HIC < 1000* GMAX < 200* *Based on ASTM F testing at a 12 Fall height

33 VCT is not recognized as a sport surface by any entity! L E A R N VCT & Active Play Make a Commitment to Share this Knowledge with Project Stakeholders

34 Copyright 2005, Connor Sport Court International Thank You!


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