No Products in the Cart
All public playgrounds need to to be inspected on a regular basis. The frequency of inspection depends on the frequency of use of the playground as well as the safety policy of the owner/operator. A well conducted playground inspection generates a report that ranks and prioritizes hazards on that particular playground. The report can pave the way for a maintenance road map or act as a benchmark for future inspections.
It is imperative that you work with a safety inspector that gets to know your playground and that can act as a neutral third party in identifying hazards on your playground. There is a lot of fear out there about the use of a playground inspector. Playground owners think that the resulting report becomes a public document exposing every problem the playground has. The reality is that the inspection report belongs to the owner of the playground. It is a document that should be used to improve the playground, not shame the owner.
We are often asked about how to find a playground inspectors in areas that we don't cover. Our answer is always the same. Go to the source. The authority that created the licensing classes and exam to certify playground inspectors is the NRPA. If you go to nrpa.org you can find a database of all Certified Playground Inspectors in the country. In our own playgroundaudit.com we plan to offer that as a service once we compile the list of playground inspectors that want to be part of it.
Once you find a playground inspector, how do you know they have the right qualification? Having playground inspectors in our offices that have re-certified many times, we can tell you that the class doesn't make a good inspector. It is a great introduction to the many codes that govern the industry, but a good inspector hones their skills through further research and the many years of experience inspecting actual playgrounds. A good inspector will have the right insurance. Errors and omissions, liability, workman's comp and auto insurance are a must in our business. Finally, a good inspector will have a roster of happy clients that they can use as a reference.
The playground inspector will schedule a day that works both for you and them. They will then show up with a few industry probes that will help the inspector measure the common hazards, such as head and neck entrapment, projections, crush and shear hazards...etc. The inspector will also be measuring use zones, slide heights and swing seat heights for compliance. They will be going up and down the composite set to check for hazards that are not seen from a distance. Usually a good sign you are dealing with a good inspector is if you see them using the playground like the kids do. There is no such thing as inspecting from the car in our business.
Typically, the playground inspector will take a couple days to write up a detailed report stating all the hazards they found in the playground. Those hazards will be documented with pictures and annotations. A good playground inspector will always set time after reviewing the reports to answer questions and to go over how you might mitigate the hazards they found.