Code of good practice for play areas

A picture of a child climbing on handles.

Siting

  • The play area shall be sited in a position which is suitable for its purpose and which may be reached in safety
  • Any surrounding features which are likely to constitute a danger to children using the area shall be removed or protected by appropriate safety measures

Design

  • The design of the area shall comply to normal safety standards and, where appropriate to relevant British Standards
  • Where the Standard is not applicable, advice should be sought from RoSPA, NPFA or other appropriate body such as a County PFA
  • The design of the area shall be generally appropriate for the anticipated age ranges of the users

Equipment

  • New equipment used shall conform to EN 1176
  • Where equipment is unable to meet a Standard, an explanation of acceptability or evidence of third party testing by a recognised body or a risk assessment shall be provided.
  • Compliance may be judged by a BS Kitemark, TüV mark or by such testing as may be reasonably carried out on site without dismantling or destruction, by RoSPA, NPFA or other appropriate body
  • The equipment design shall be appropriate for the anticipated age ranges of the users
  • The manufacturer or supplier shall provide written confirmation of Standard compliance where relevant

Surfacing

  • Appropriate surfaces shall be provided. Where a protective surface is provided it shall have been tested in accordance with BS 7188 and EN 1177
  • Protective surfacing shall be laid in the areas recommended by EN 1176 as being appropriate. Items covered by any other standard shall have protective surfaces to standards not less than EN 1176
  • The manufacturer or designer shall provide a test certificate from a recognised test house such as BSI, CST or RAPRA.

Installation

  • The installer shall provide written confirmation that the equipment has been installed in accordance with the manufacturer or designer's instructions and to the relevant Standard where appropriate
  • Where relevant, a post-installation inspection shall be carried out by RoSPA, NPFA or other appropriate body

Ancillary items

  • A range of appropriate ancillary items, such as seats and litter bins suitable for the intended use shall be provided as required and its positioning and construction comply generally to EN 1176

Signs

  • A risk assessment shall be carried out on the site
  • Signs indicating ownership, appropriate age range limitations and other management requirements shall be clearly displayed, preferably in pictographic form

Management

  • Appropriate insurance shall be taken out to protect users and any staff
  • The play area shall be inspected weekly by a competent person, preferably with some basic training
  • An annual inspection by an independent specialist shall be undertaken
  • Appropriate maintenance and repairs shall be carried out and records kept

Contact Us

Playsafety Ltd *
+44 (0)1793 317470
info@rospaplaysafety.co.uk
Unit 78, Shrivenham Hundred Business Park, Watchfield, Swindon, SN6 8TY
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* RoSPA’s activities in the area of play safety are carried out under an exclusive licence arrangement by an independent and highly experienced specialist company, “Playsafety Ltd” which trades under such licence as “RoSPA Play Safety”.