With the weather finally turning, everyone's ready to go outside and PLAY! Which means there's no time like the present to inspect your playground. Regular maintenance will not only preserve your equipment it will protect it's patrons from injury and you from potential legal action should someone get hurt due to having equipment that is not routinely inspected.
Think you aren't responsible or you simply don't have time or manpower to perform inspections? Read on to find out more on the WHO, WHAT, WHEN & WHY's to Playground Safety Inspections - including information regarding one Home Owners Association (HOA) that was hit with a $20 million dollar verdict due to a faulty swing set that was not routinely inspected.
Anyone who owns, houses or operates a public playground. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, who publishes a handbook for Public Playground Safety containing guidelines and recommendations, states that "Public” playground equipment refers to equipment for use by children ages 6 months through 12 years in the playground areas of:
• Commercial (non-residential) child care facilities
• Multiple family dwellings, such as apartment and condominiums
• Parks, such as city, state, and community maintained parks
• Resorts and recreational developments
• Other areas of public
Just as you regularly service your vehicle and appliances, PlayGO suggests that all “Public” playground owners perform regular inspections of your commercial playground equipment, both by a Certified Playground Safety Inspector (CPSI) and routinely by someone on site; chronicling in a log for future reference and confirmation.
Inspections should take place at both high and low frequencies.
High frequency maintenance includes: inspecting and tightening connections, replacing and leveling displaced loose-fill surfacing, checking for cracks in plastics, wood splitting and rusted or corroded metals, looking for worn, loose damaged or missing parts and removing any broken glass or trash.
Low frequency maintenance includes having an annual, thorough inspection performed by a Certified Playground Safety Inspector to insure the structural integrity of your equipment.
Because safety, especially of children, should always come first. And while some states and local jurisdictions may require compliance with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission and/or the ASTM (American Society for Testing Materials) voluntary standards; risk managers, insurance companies and others may require compliance as well. It is always wise to check with your state/local jurisdictions and insurance companies for specific requirements and to place the safety of your patrons above all else.
Additionally, liability is ambiguous in terms of litigation. Recent case law suggests that owners must become more proactive about the safety of their playgrounds. Click here (http://blog.cvn.com/homeowners-association-hit-with-20m-verdict-over-faulty-swing-set) to read more about an HOA in Nevada who declined a maintenance plan and was subsequently found responsible for injuries a young man sustained on their equipment amounting to a $20 million dollar verdict; including $10 million in punitive damages.
Don’t put off until tomorrow what you can do today. PlayGO can help! Our Certified Playground Safety Inspector is available to assist you with your Playground Safety Inspections. We take safety seriously and will furnish a detailed inspection report upon request. We also are happy to provide the following publications for you at no charge -- simply go to the CONTACT US page of our website and request yours today!
CONTACT PLAYGO TODAY!
As your partner in ALL things play and recreation, we're here to assist you in any way we can; and as always, we have your best interests in mind. Call 833.4PLAYGO (833.475.2946) to arrange a playground safety inspection or to discuss your options regarding your current playground equipment or safety surfacing. We look forward to hearing from you and helping you in any way we can. Take care and...don't forget to PLAY!