Playground Maintenance

Proper Maintenance can reduce childhood injuries.

He may think he’s invincible…

But it is the duty of the owner or operator of playgrounds to maintain and inspect their playgrounds and play equipment to provide a safe play environment and safe resilient surfacing (fall protection). So he and other children can play freely without encountering any hazards.

Maintenance Made Easy

We pride ourselves on a product that requires very little maintenance, but even the best-built playgrounds require regular inspection to ensure a safe play environment for children. Noth the ASTM F1487 and CSA Z614 require periodic inspections of the play structure and surfacing. The CSA Standard goes further in requiring owner/operators to perform three types of routine maintenance checks. These include daily or weekly visual inspections, monthly detailed inspections, and seasonal scheduled maintenance. The standard also requires playground operators to periodically test the protective surfacing under the playground. To make your regular inspection and maintenance chores simple, Henderson provides a maintenance kit with each play structure including extra hardware, touch-up paint, and more. We also include a Playground Maintenance Checklist you can use.

Maintenance Plan

Everyone knows the saying “fail to plan, plan to fail.” This saying aptly fits playground maintenance. Before your playground is even in the ground you should have a maintenance plan in place. The NRPA (National Recreation and Park Association) estimates that playground preventative maintenance programs can help avoid 30-40% of playground accidents. It’s estimated that 60% of playground litigation blames “poor maintenance” or “lack of maintenance” as the main cause of the accident. Obviously having a well structured and routine maintenance program is essential to prevent injuries and protect your playground investment. Identifying and corrections potential issues through a proper maintenance program will help protect children and prevent possible lawsuits.  Always follow the manufacturer’s maintenance recommendations and procedures no matter who you purchase the playground from. Maintenance for Henderson playgrounds is different than maintenance instructions for Berliner Seilfabrik or other products we sell. You should have a written maintenance plan and keep a record of all inspections, daily, weekly, monthly, and annually if required. You should also record all equipment repairs and repairs or top-ups to the resilient surfacing.  In case of a lawsuit, warranty claim, or an accident maintaining proper maintenance documents could prove that you have shown due diligence. You should have a written accident procedure. Document all accidents and investigate causes, to help prevent further accidents. You should also designate someone in charge of maintaining, inspecting, and repairing small issues such as loose hardware and removing graffiti. Posting an owner/operator sign with contact information at the playground can help prevent accidents and other issues because people can call and inform you of any problems with the playground. You will also need to budget time and money for your resilient playground safety surface. You will need to develop a maintenance plan for the type of safety surfacing you choose.

Vandalism or Damage/Worn Play

Equipment Sometimes despite your best efforts playgrounds get vandalize or broken. The most dangerous issues should be repaired first. For example a  burnt slide should be removed and the entrance are to the slide should be closed off prior to removing the graffiti off the playground. A good rule of thumb to follow for repairs is that if there is a potential for and life threading or debilitating injury then it takes top priority. Close the playground if you have to, but remember, orange safety fencing or snow fencing typically does not deter. Signage is great for those that can read, but for children who can’t read a sign will not stop them from playing on the broken or vandalized playground. Deal with the broken or vandalize part directly if possible. Contact the Henderson Recreation or the manufacturer of other equipment immediately to rectify the situation. If you are unsure of any safety issues you can get a certified playground inspector to conduct a playground safety audit. Henderson Recreation provides you with a detail maintenance checklist in PDF format. It’s on the CD disk in your maintenance kit. We have customized the maintenance kit just for you. It includes installation instructions, pre-installation package, playground maintenance checklist, 3D renderings, planview/scaled drawings, spare hardware kit, warranty and copies of all our current catalogues, because sometimes it is easier to identify the product from a rendering.