Hazards On the playground – Safety first

Check for sharp points and edges. Use your judgment to determine whether or not a point or edge could harm a child; generally, all edges should be smooth and rounded.

Pay particular attention to rough edges on hardware, worn or cracked materials, splintered wood, rusted or

cracked metal, and weld spatters on metal surfaces. Check that bolt ends show less than two threads and are rounded and smooth.

Pay close attention to bolt ends because rough or projecting bolt ends could be entanglement and protrusion hazards.

If the projection extends through the gauge and projects beyond the face of the gauge, then the projection is considered a protrusion hazard and has the potential to impale a child. In this photo the projection is a protrusion hazard.

Check for head entrapment hazards. Head entrapment and a resulting strangulation hazard can occur when children enter an opening feet first with only their legs and torso passing through the opening. Completely bound openings that measure between 3.5 inches and 9 inches must be considered for head entrapment. If the equipment was installed correctly and audited after installation, there should not be entrapment hazards unless the equipment shifts or receives improper repairs.

The ASTM standard calls for a clearly visible label affixed to play equipment identifying the manufacturer and warning that protective surfacing material is necessary under and around the equipment. This label must be visible on each separate piece of equipment, and a composite play structure requires only one label. There are new requirements that also include a warning label that the equipment may be HOT. I hope this was helpful. Please contact me when you would like your playground inspected. Thank you. Craig Faitel.