The importance of children’s playground inspections

The importance of childrens playground inspections Safety Forward

The British and European safety standard BS EN1176 and the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) strongly recommend that all play areas have at least one inspection every year from an independent suitably qualified body such as RoSPA.

Children’s playground inspections should be carried out annually by an independent specialist to ensure the long term safety of the site, equipment and ancillary items. This will also meet legal and insurance responsibilities as well as complying with the requirements of EN1176 (the European Playground Standard).

This necessity has been hi-lighted in the recent report in the Evening Standard where Tower Hamlets council were charged over a 5 year old girl who was sadly killed by a rotting swing. The council have been charged with health and safety breaches and face a potential £2 million legal bill.

The authority has been charged with breaching the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and a hearing is due to take place in October at Westminster magistrates’ court.  A report by the CPS’s special crime division found that the council, two of its employees and the contractor who designed and fitted the equipment in Mile End Park playground had “breached their duty of care”.

An inquest found there had been an “inadvertent use of inappropriate wood” in the swing’s structure by the designer and installer. The design of the playground had specified durable oak to be used to support the swing, but cheaper poplar wood was used, the inquiry heard. The report has also stated that the council had failed to organise annual inspections of the play equipment and said the wood used was unsuitable.

At Safety Forward our consultants are able to carry out inspections both to the pubic and private sector across the UK and not only include playgrounds, but also cover a wide variety of park and open spaces, playing fields and water features to ensure safety of all equipment by a fully qualified RPI inspector.

A written report is supplied covering site safety and condition, equipment, surfacing, and ancillary item safety and condition, and compliance with BS EN 1176 where relevant. Recommendations for any remedial action required are given together with risk ratings for each item, to reduce any risk of accidents.

We are also able to offer information and documents to assist you in daily, weekly and quarterly inspections conducted by yourselves, however for insurance purposes you will need an inspection carried out by a qualified person.

For further information on children’s playground inspections please contact us here or call us on 0330 107 0165where our team of professionals will be happy to advise you.