When did you last have your playground equipment checked?
According to RoSPA (The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents) it is estimated that more than 40,000 children are injured in playgrounds each year that result in a hospital visit.
The causes vary but equipment management can be a factor and the following reasons may be to blame:
- Poor equipment design
- Poor layout
- Incorrect installation
- Poor inspection
- Poor maintenance
Schools, academies and colleges can be sued for negligence if they fail to take reasonable care to ensure that their playgrounds are safe or have accidents they could reasonably have foreseen would happen. With compensation culture firmly entrenched in the education system, it is now vital that schools are fully compliant with the law and protect themselves from potential claims should an accident occur.
Acts of parliament that cover children’s playgrounds include:
- Occupier’s Liability Act (1957)
- Health and Safety at Work Act (1974)
- Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations (1999)
Your playground equipment should be checked weekly and quarterly by your site team but fully inspected annually by an independent and fully qualified specialist. You should expect an extensive documented report, preferably with pictorial evidence of possible dangers and failings with your equipment and solutions to correct the problems.
We have fully qualified playground inspectors within Facilities Staffing who can take the worry away for you and deal with all aspects of the checking process. We also have access to specialist knowledge in planning new play areas and upgrades at your school and can advise on suitable surfaces and age appropriate equipment as well as working to an agreed budget.
Under our top level grounds maintenance SLA your annual playground inspection is included but the full report can be obtained ad hoc at a one off cost of £295.00.