Inspection and maintenance
Regular inspection and maintenance of playground equipment reduces, or at best prevents, the risk of accidents on playgrounds. These inspections should be carried out by a suitably competent person. Additional training may be required.
We recommend that you document the inspection results for each playground accordingly. You can download the appropriate maintenance and inspection checklists here.
Maintenance and inspections are divided into four categories, the basic inspection, the routine visual inspection, the operational inspection and the annual main inspection. These inspections are checked for different factors at different time periods.
Before opening up the playground
- By a competent inspector with the appropriate certificate
- Inspection of the work carried out
- Check of compliance with fall protection, free and drop areas
- Checking the correct implementation of the manufacturer's instructions regarding installation and assembly of the equipment
- Drawing up of a pictorial report on the condition and defects
Playground inspection every 1-3 months or as specified by the manufacturer
- By a competent person of the owner
- Detailed inspection to check the operational safety and stability of the playground
- Inspection of abrasive parts
- Check of connecting parts, screws and joints
- Record using the appropriate checklist
Routine visual inspection
Daily to weekly playground inspection
- By owners
- Record or eliminate all obvious sources of danger, such as damage due to vandalism, weather effects or use.
- Inspection contents include: Cleanliness of the playground, ground clearance, condition of the ground surface, exposed foundations, sharp edges, missing or protruding parts, excessive abrasion of moving parts, stability of equipment.
Annual main inspection
or playground inspection
- By a competent inspector with the appropriate verification
- Determination of the general operationally safe condition of the equipment, foundations and surfaces and of the entire playground
- Main focus on correct implementation of all services performed during the year (e.g. maintenance work, repairs) with regard to playground safety
- Recording of all changes to the equipment safety due to weather influences as well as the presence of corrosion or rotting
- prognosis of the life span of individual units and or components thereof
- compilation of an illustrated condition and defect report
Routine maintenance of playgrounds, equipment and surfacing should include preventive measures to ensure the level of safety and playability in accordance with SN EN 1176:2018.
Such measures include, for example:
- retightening of fixings
- maintenance of fall protection coverings
- lubrication of joints
- filling up fall protection materials
- maintenance of open spaces (removal of branches, stones, etc.).
To prevent accidents, the owner or operator should ensure that an appropriate routine maintenance schedule is established, implemented and maintained.
Manufacturer's instructions and local conditions (weather conditions, location) should be considered.
The maintenance plan should include the procedure to be followed in the event of complaints and damage.
Maintenance repairs should include measures to correct faults or restore a necessary safety standard of the playground equipment and surfacing.
Such measures should include:
- replacing fixings
- replacing worn or defective parts
- replacement of defective structural components
Modifications to the unit
Modifications to parts of the units or the unit construction can have a negative influence on safety and should only be carried out after consultation with the manufacturer or a competent person.