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Keeping Children Safe

Playground managers have both a moral and legal responsibility to ensure the safety of the children who use their site. Damaged surfacing, protruding fixings or broken ropes can all result in injuries. These injuries can range from minor scrapes and bruises to broken bones and more. Ensuring that your play area never falls into disrepair will go a long way in reducing the likelihood of serious injuries.

As each play area environment is different, each one should be evaluated, and risk assessed on several factors: the age of users; physical ability; usage; location; other factors specific to your site.

Protecting Your Investment

Playground equipment and surfacing is an investment, but proper maintenance will maximise the pound-per-play value of your equipment. By regularly maintaining equipment and surfacing, you can prolong its life and ensure it can be enjoyed by children for years to come. Maintaining and repairing equipment is a good economic decision when compared to the price of having to remove and replace equipment that has fallen into disrepair.

Routine Visual Inspections

Depending on the frequency of the use of the equipment, routine visual inspections should be conducted daily or weekly. The initial installation of play equipment will usually see an above-average amount of use due to the novelty of the new additions to the playground; during this period daily inspections are recommended.

Certain key items must be checked on all types of play equipment in connection with supervision and maintenance routines. The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) offers a one-day course aimed at those who are responsible for these visual inspections of play equipment. To aid in these routine visual inspections, we have created a simple checklist which can be found here and is the perfect way to document these inspections for future reference. These visual inspections should check the equipment’s basic condition, especially faults due to recent vandalism, breakages and cleanliness of the area. Potential hazards should be identified.

Operational Inspections

An operational inspection is a more detailed inspection and will check the operation and stability of the equipment, especially for wear. The inspection will be conducted in line with the BS EN Standards. These operational inspections should be conducted every three to four months and should only be completed by someone who understands the regulations. Written records of these inspections and their findings should be kept for future reference.

An inspector in a black polo shirt checking ropes on a piece of timber play equipment

One of our inspectors inspecting third-party equipment.

RPII Inspections

When it comes to operational and yearly inspections, these must be conducted by a qualified inspector. The Register of Play Inspectors (RPII) is the official UK examination, accreditation and certification body for play inspectors. Sovereign’s inspectors are accredited by the RPII and can conduct operational inspections for both our own and other manufacturer’s play equipment.

Sovereign Compliance

At Sovereign, we have been undertaking playground refurbishments for over 20 years, this experience has allowed us to craft the perfect service for playground maintenance, Sovereign Compliance. For your peace of mind, our Sovereign Compliance packages offer a complete service for the inspection, reporting and essential maintenance of outdoor play equipment. This gives you complete visibility on the status of your equipment, notifying you early on of any concerns before they become larger issues. We will thoroughly assess the condition of your play equipment and the surrounding environment highlighting any areas of concern. Our inspectors will also review your existing weekly inspection records. All our inspectors are fully trained in repairs and maintenance, meaning where possible minor works will be resolved during your inspections.

An inspector in a black tshirt and jeans inspecting a timber trail

One of our inspectors inspecting a timber trail.

After each inspection, you will receive a comprehensive report detailing any concerns, along with suggested next steps. We clearly list all your covered play equipment and with photos highlight our findings. Our reports serve as evidence that you have a complete process in place to protect the safety of children around the equipment.

“Sovereign Compliance has helped us extend the life of our playground, saving us thousands that would have otherwise gone towards refurbishments. Above all, the regimented reports put me at ease for our children’s safety.” – Paul Davidson, Head Teacher

Want to make sure that your play area can be enjoyed for years to come? Get in touch with our Client Retention Team who are dedicated to providing you with the best service we can offer.

Phone: 01702 291129

Email: [email protected]