Risk assessment of children's play areas
The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 recommends that owners and managers of premises should undertake a risk assessment of their facilities - this includes the children's playground.
The purpose of risk assessment is to:
- undertake a systematic review of the potential for harm
- evaluate the likelihood of harm occurring.
When this is done the manager has to:
- decide whether the existing control measures are adequate
- decide whether more needs to be done
The sequence for this is:
- activity classification
- hazard identification
- evaluation of risk
- evaluation of control measures
- specification for further action
Once the assessment has been carried out there should be a hierarchy for control:
- eliminate hazard
- reduce hazard
- isolate hazard
- control hazard
Once the risk assessment has been carried out and control measures taken, it need not be repeated unless there is a significant change in the playground.
RoSPA risk assessment
By evaluating the frequency of accidents and the consequences, RoSPA has been able to develop a risk assessment system which is based on experience and knowledge of injuries occur on children's playgrounds. This service is available to operators of outdoor playgrounds operators as part of their annual inspection or as a separate service. This inspection and assessment has to be carried out by the playground manager or representative. RoSPA will be pleased to attend these inspections to advise.