|PlayRight Australia, in compliance with the Australian Playground Standards and a “Best Practice” approach, has developed and endorsed a Comprehensive Inspection checklist and document that will report and assist your agency in identifying a wide range of playground hazards and asset details including (but not limited to):
- Playground Inventory
- Playground Category
- Equipment Inventory
- Age/Size Appropriateness
- Playground Compliance audit and Safety Inspection
- Entrapment violations
- Surface hazards
- Playground Audit Priority
- Layout, Free Space and fall zone
- Maintenance Requirements
- Playground Replacement Year and cost
- Digital images
- Written and/or Electronic Report and Analysis
During a comprehensive safety inspection, hazards are categorized by their potential for causing severe injury. The resulting report will help you determine which hazards require immediate corrective action, which should be next on the list, and which are minor enough to allow corrective action as time and money permit.
The first day a new public playground opens for use is generally the last time that the playground owner/operation can feel somewhat confident that the entire area is safe and hazard free.
The first day also marks the beginning of the playground’s routine, operational and preventative maintenance history. This includes timely inspections – and ultimately renovations and perhaps repairs – plus the continued compliance to current industry safety guidelines and standards.
Every playground should be assessed and inspected for Compliance and Safety.
The purpose of the safety audit is to identify and report on non-conforming and potential hazards on and in the playground. It takes into account the equipment, designs, installation, and maintenance, as well as environmental conditions that could present unacceptable risks to children/users. PlayRight develops a systematic approach to removing dangerous equipment and/or make repairs according to risk analysis of each non-conforming condition.
The audit is a comprehensive document and detailed inspection of all items within the playground use zone and those items immediately adjacent and continuous to the playground.
Who should conduct Playground Safety Inspection?
AS4685.0:2017 clause 8.5.7 states:
Individuals performing tasks such as assessment, inspections, repairs and maintenance shall be competent to perform the task that they are undertaking.
AS4685.0:2017 Clause 5.1 Competent person states:
A person who has acquired through training qualifications or experience or a combination of these, the knowledge and skills enabling that person to perform a specified task.
|It is highly recommended that your Playground Inspector be:
||1. A Certified Competent Playground Safety Inspector.2. Experienced with over 5 years in playground comprehensive inspections various equipment.3. Experienced in playground design and construction, with knowledge of remedies.4. Experienced and competent in the understanding and working knowledge of the rational of the standards since misinterpretations and conflicts abound.5. Someone who will make an excellent witness for you in court. Including clear and concise record management.6. Fully insured (Professional Indemnity and Public Liability). The insurance certificate/s shall specify exactly what the insurance cover is for i.e. Playground Safety Inspection and Consultancy services.
Contact PlayRight Australia Pty Ltd for further information. We will gladly assist you.
AS4685.0:2017 Clause 8.5 Inspections
Levels of Inspections and frequency
Regular inspections of playground equipment and surfacing shall be conducted in accordance with standards. As potentially hazardous situations are identified, it is crucial that corrective actions are carried out in a timely manner.
NOTE: Assessing, and if necessary upgrading, equipment that does not meet the current Standards. The inspection process is hierarchical. Less complex inspections are conducted more frequently and can be undertaken by grounds staff who may be also carrying out maintenance tasks during the same visit. More rigorous and thorough inspections do not typically need to be conducted as frequently and require more expertise.
The following inspections shall be carried out:
(a) Comprehensive post-installation inspection
(b) Routine inspection
(c) Operational inspection
(d) Comprehensive annual inspection
Comprehensive post-installation inspection *
A comprehensive post-installation inspection shall be conducted by a competent person prior to opening the playground. This inspection shall verify that the playground conforms with the requirements of the relevant parts of the AS 4685 series and the impact-attenuating surfacing test in AS 4422, and shall identify and detail the tasks that need to be carried out to achieve conformance.
NOTE: This requirement may not apply to minor installations, modifications and/or replacements where the operator can use their discretion.
The report shall include the results of any risk assessments and/or risk benefit assessments that have been carried out where non-conformances have been identified. A playground may be opened if it contains non-conformances that do not present acceptable risk to the users.
Routine visual inspection
A visual inspection intended to identify obvious hazards that can result from wear and tear, vandalism or weather conditions. This inspection shall be carried out regularly. The inspection frequency should take into account local conditions, frequency of use and the manufacturer’s instructions. Playgrounds subject to heavy use or prone to vandalism, may require daily inspection. Any potentially hazardous situations shall be reported immediately and/or rectified.
An operational inspection shall be carried out regularly, on a monthly or quarterly basis unless there are compelling reasons to deviate from this inspection frequency.
Comprehensive annual inspection*
A comprehensive annual inspection shall be carried out. In addition to checking all items listed in above inspections, this inspection is intended to determine conformance with the relevant parts of AS 4685 and to establish the overall level of safety of the equipment, foundations and playground surfaces.
* PlayRight Australia Pty Ltd emphasizes that this type of service is a thorough professional playground audit and is the most comprehensive assessment and report in accordance with the appropriate Australian Standards and Occupational Health and Safety Act.
* PlayRight Australia is fully equipped with the certified test measuring apparatus including head and neck entrapment probes.
Inspection and Maintenance Program
To maintain a ‘Standard of Care’ and to identify all new hazards on existing playgrounds, maintenance inspections are conducted at regular intervals. These focus on immediate hazards caused by various factors that contribute to the need for maintenance, such as:
- Physical wear
- Environmental factors
- Vandalism and accidental damage
Function of Inspections & Maintenance:
- Safety – ensure safety of all users
- Utility – keep equipment functioning
- Sanitation – hygienically clean
- Attractiveness – aesthetically clean
Benefits of a good playground inspection & maintenance management plan are to:
- Reduce potential playground injuries
- Possible Legal defence against charges of negligence
- Better cost accounting
- Effective resource utilisation
- Efficient annual and life-cycle budgeting
- Better public image and relations.
Every maintenance inspection program is unique. In developing your own program, you need to consider:
- Maintenance instructions – provided by the manufacturer
- Frequency of inspection
- Preventative maintenance
Be PRO-ACTIVE (prevent a problem) and Not REACTIVE (only correcting problems when they occur).
Due diligence requires that the user take all circumstances and aspects into consideration as to minimum performance and best practice in determining issues that relate to the management of risk.
For all your playground inspection, installation and maintenance needs contact PlayRight Australia.