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Playground Safety

Over 200,000 injuries are reported each year on playgrounds in the United States. The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) developed the playground safety standards (Publication 325) adopted by New Jersey.

Initial Inventory
Retain a professional to inventory existing playgrounds and evaluate compliance. The inventory should be updated whenever there are major changes. Specifically identify the different pieces of apparatus, manufacturer, date of manufacture, location, age appropriateness and details on the protective surface. A separate file should be established for each playground.

Annual Audits
At the beginning of the year, review the file and perform a detailed physical examination of each playground. The audit should be the responsibility of someone who has received the necessary training. All repairs should be made before opening for the season. A similar audit should occur at the end of the season to begin planning for the following year.

Weekly Inspection
Inspections should be conducted at least weekly (or more frequently depending on usage) by maintenance personnel specifically trained to identify hazards and initiate repair procedures. If the repair cannot be performed on site, the apparatus should be taken out of service so that it cannot be used until it is satisfactory. All inspections should be documented along with corrective actions.

Links

Safety Director’s Bulletin - Comprehensive Playground Inspection Programs

Playground Safety Checklist

NRPA Certified Playground Safety Inspector Certification Programs

Dirty Dozen Playground Hazards Checklist

Playground Safety Tips for Parents