How Do You Maintain a Playground?
Playground maintenance starts with a thorough inspection of the following:
- Site and its immediate surroundings (e.g. nearby trees, walkways, bush)
- Swings, slides and other play equipment
- Rubber soft fall surfaces
- Grassed areas
You should inspect all the objects and surfaces that children will come into contact with (and everything that you see in the playground). And if there are hazards such as loose or worn connections in the rails and play equipment, you should immediately fix them or replace the equipment if necessary.
How do you maintain and inspect a playground?
To accomplish this task, you can use this as a starting reference (you can add more tasks anytime):
General hazards and upkeep
- Trash bins are always present and emptied
- No hazardous projections and protrusions (that might injure children or pull away or entangle their clothing)
- Remove or repair sharp edges, corners and points in play equipment
- Ensure there are no damaged or missing plugs and caps
- Repair damaged benches, fences and other fixtures in the playground
- Clear away the debris and trash from the surfacing materials
- Maintain or replace surfacing if they’ve already deteriorated
Sandpit and grassed areas
- No dangerous objects
- Sand is always promptly replaced or replenished when necessary
- Borders are free from splinters, exposed nails and other foreign and hazardous objects
- Is the grass well-maintained and the surfaces always even?
- No rust, splinters, cracks or rot on the swings, slides and other play equipment
- Handrails, guardrails, steps, rungs and protective barriers are still durable and intact (no broken or missing components)
- Inspect and/or improve drainage system so water won’t accumulate (especially around slide exits and under the swings)
This is just an initial reference. To come up with a more detailed checklist, it’s good to walk through the playground and inspect each surface, part and component. List every potential hazard and concern and then organise them. This way, you minimise the hazards and help children fully enjoy their time in the playground.