What are the motivations behind the playground training?
Lincolnshire play areas are managed by a variety of organisations – Parish Councils, Playing Field Committees’, Local Authorities, pubs, other organisations and businesses.
As managers of play spaces, they have a responsibility to keep their play areas in a safe condition. There is also a responsibility to check the routes to and from the play area and any surrounding areas that people may access.
According to RoSPA, although there is no specific legal responsibility to have an inspection and maintenance programme in place, play area managers have a legal and moral responsibility of care of anyone using a site. As such a regular programme of inspection is recommended by the British Standards Institute, the Health and Safety Executive, Insurers and RoSPA.
European Standard EN 1176 recommends at least one (preferably two) independent inspections each year and Play area managers are recommended to follow this inspection procedure:
A routine daily or weekly visual check
This can be done by a member of the Management Committee, parish council, or any volunteer and any issues reported back to the committee. This would be a good opportunity to do a litter pick if required.
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A monthly recorded inspection
This can be done by a member of the Management Committee, parish council, or any volunteer, but you are recommended to keep a “Log Book” recording that such inspections have taken place and indicating any defects found that require attention.
A quarterly Operational Inspection – especially in popular playgrounds – or at peak times.
A competent person following manufacturer’s instructions at all times should carry out any Maintenance or Remedial work.
A six- monthly or annual inspection
Carried out by an independent children’s playground inspection expert preferably a member of the Register of Play Inspectors International Limited (RPII).
In addition to this a risk assessment should be carried out on an annual basis and the site should be monitored for disability and access.
How are Community Lincs involved with the play training?
Each year Community Lincs hold at least two training sessions and we cover topics such as:
- Child development, the importance of play and accessibility
- Risk benefit judgments
- Legal, the appropriate Acts of Parliament, European Standards and how they may affect the operator and directly the inspector
- A logical and systematic approach to inspecting including risk assessment
- Practical inspection of approaches to playground including signs, traffic, road barriers, playground surround, vegetation, fences and gates
- Practical inspection of the active playground area within the fenced surround, seats, litter bins, vegetation, lighting, other furniture, non-play items and surfacing
- Essential aspects of inspection, maintenance and common faults
- Documentation, reporting and importance of record keeping
- How to minimise your risks and maximise children’s enjoyment of your play facility
Each delegate receives a certificate and, although not a legal requirement, it is recommended that people or the organisation retrain their staff or train new staff every 3 years.
“Steve and Sarah really enjoyed their half day with you; they have already been out on the job!”