We were sad to find out from ROSPA that there are approximately 40,000 injuries to children on playgrounds each year which result in a hospital visit. As members of both ROSPA and the API, we take safety very seriously indeed but it was still a surprise to find out that this many incidents occur!
Top reasons these incidents occur
- Poor equipment design
- Failure to comply with standards
- Poor design and layout
- Unsuitable equipment for the intended age group
- Incorrect installation
- Poor inspection
- Poor maintenance
- User issues: lack of supervision, ‘misuse’ of equipment, unsuitable clothes
- Weather conditions.
Of course, you can’t prevent every incident from occurring but do you know that Site Managers could be sued for negligence if they fail to take reasonable care to ensure their playgrounds are safe and avoid accidents they could reasonably have foreseen would happen? An example of this would be an accident which occurred from failing to maintain the protective surface which had been provided under equipment.
One of the big challenges at the moment is that, with ongoing lockdowns, furloughed employees and disruption, as well as winter weather, maintenance may well have taken a back seat in terms of priorities. Whether you are a site developer or have a site as part of your leisure facility, this applies to you and we want to help!
Here at idverde Play we want to make sure you are aware of the risks as well as your obligations. We’ve collected together some information shared by ROSPA as well as some suggestions for ways you can work to reduce the risk and keep on top of playground maintenance. We have also included some things to think about if you’re planning a playground project or are adding to existing equipment.