Outdoor Playground Inspections are not currently a legal requirement, but their practice is an important part of ensuring that children have a safe place to play. It is a matter of best practice as well as a duty of care to ensure that playgrounds and equipment remain safe.
There is no current legislation dictating that outdoor play safety should be managed and assessed via playground inspections; that said, there are several organisations and sectors that recommend their implementation as a matter of best practice. They include:
- The British Standards Institute
- The Health & Safety Executive
- Insurance companies
The Standards adopted by the play industry that are expected to be met by providers of children’s outdoor play equipment are EN1176 (play equipment) and EN1177 (safety surfacing). By ensuring that regular playground inspections are carried out in accordance with these standards, owners and managers of outdoor play areas can be confident that they’re meeting their ethical obligation to protect users of their equipment.
This also offers site owners the peace of mind that if the worst should happen and an accident occurs, the courts will be satisfied that they have taken the appropriate measures to avoid such a scenario.