• Home
  • Blogs
  • Do you know you’re liable for your playground?
09 April 2021

Do you know you’re liable for your playground?

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.

Our top tips for keeping children safe on your playground equipment

  1. The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 recommends that owners and managers of premises should undertake a risk assessment of their facilities – this includes the children’s playground. We think this is an important thing to do before you let children back onto play equipment, after the winter and lockdown breaks. You can read more about this, and ROSPA’s Risk Assessment here.
  2. We also offer a number of Play Inspection packages here at idverde Play, including our Annual Inspection Package. Find out more about this here.
  3. In addition to this one-off risk assessment, you should consider doing regular, routine inspections. Here are some suggestions from ROSPA as to how to do these. The regular check of the playground facilities is intended to be quick and simple. Its primary function is to identify faults or dangers arising from vandalism or breakage. If you’d like some advice on this, or training on how to deliver it, contact our specialists today.
  4. We always recommend setting out a protocol for how you’re going to record risks and areas for improvement, as well as handling maintenance. ROSPA has made some great suggestions for things to think about here.
  5. Making sure you’re on top of training and double-checking maintenance is important. Playforce have produced some guidance videos here to help you with this and all areas of aftercare. We can also help you with any repairs and managing your warranties, here.


Of course, this doesn’t only apply to existing equipment. When you’re planning a new playground, or adding to your existing one you might want to consider the following:

  1. Obtaining professional design and layout advice.
  2. Select equipment and surfacing which meets the correct Standards.
  3. Ensure it is installed by a competent person in accordance with British Standard EN1176.
  4. Have a post-installation inspection carried out by an independent body – like us!
  5. And we’re sure we don’t need to tell you that there are added considerations post-COVID19.

If you’d like some help managing your liabilities and risk you can talk to one of our specialists today.


Alternatively, if you are a playground manager or in a school, these services are available to you through Playforce which is part of the idverde Group. Our experienced colleagues at Playforce will be able to assist you with everything mentioned, contact them now.