Preventative Playground Maintenance

By 27th January 2020 News

We all know that if we look after our belongings they will last much longer.  It’s something we endlessly try to drum into our children as they drag their school bag along the playground or leave their bicycle out in the rain.  The same can be said for our outdoor play equipment.  If we take care of it by way of preventative maintenance, it should remain safe and compliant for much longer.

EN1176 is the British Standard for playground equipment and surfacing is BS EN 1177. Whilst these standards are not currently a legal requirement, they represent good practise and go a long way to ensuring the safety of playground equipment. Our staff are trained and registered RPII Operational Inspectors to give piece of mind when it comes to your installation and after care.

We have been carrying out Operational Inspections recently at various locations and we are finding more frequently that preventative maintenance is just not done (or is done with good intention, but just not in the right way).

Inspections are a great way to monitor the requirement for maintenance.  A visual check should be completed weekly, particularly in high traffic areas.  Operational inspections form an interim for the Annual Inspections required of public play spaces and completed by the right people mean the play area should remain safe and compliant. We recommend that Annual Inspections should be completed by an Independent Inspection Company to ensure compliance.

Reports will be produced based on findings and occasionally the terminology used can be a bit unclear or misleading. If you are experiencing issues understanding your report we would advise that you go back to the inspector for clarity.

Annual Inspection may report “showing signs of wear”, “monitor use” or “dismantle and inspect on a regular basis” especially if items are above head height, as inspections are only carried out from ground level and without interference.

Worn bushes and bearings are among the most common problems which left over time can become dangerous or stop the equipment from working.

For example: Any movement over 0.5mm should be investigated and not just greased up –

 

Things to look out for:

  •  Kinked, twisted, worn or broken chains
  •  Broken or missing components
  •  Trip hazards and damaged surfacing

You can download a free Weekly Playground Inspection form from our website which will help to highlight any problem areas.

Once you have highlighted any issues you must decide which action to take. Are the issues urgent? Do we need to act now? If you are unsure, give us a call for some free advice.

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