A Guide to the Inspection & Maintenance of Children’s Play Areas
As a playground operator you have a responsibility to the public to keep your play areas in a safe condition. In addition to physical safety, aspects of Health & Safety and Disability Discrimination Legislation should also be addressed. This entails periodic inspection, maintenance, risk assessment and a one off DDA audit – not just the equipment but the whole site.
Personnel performing tasks as part of safety management, such as inspection, repair and maintenance should be competent and must be provided with adequate information about their tasks, responsibilities and authority. The level of competence necessary will vary with the task involved and may necessitate training. Specialist work such as welding parts of a structure that is deemed to affect the safety of the equipment, should only be carried out by appropriately qualified personnel.
To achieve appropriate safety levels, a programme of regular routine and maintenance inspections – carried out systematically throughout the year – is essential.
If serious defects that put safety at risk are found during any inspection, these should be corrected without delay. If this is not possible, the equipment must be immobilised, isolated or removed. When an item of equipment has to be removed from the site, any anchorages or foundations left in the ground should be removed or made safe. The site, including the surfacing, must also be made safe.
We have produced some guides which are intended to help you understand that standard of safety required to assist you in meeting your obligations and to outline the professional support available from South West Play.