Every year, TNRMT has several reports of playground accidents. Unfortunately, a few of these accidents are simply unavoidable. However, with proper supervision and maintenance, most accidents can be eliminated.

Playgrounds are often overlooked in regular maintenance and inspections. This is not ideal because playgrounds are an ever-changing environment. The wear and tear of regular use by hundreds of children takes its toll on not only the equipment itself, but the ground surfacing as well. Very often, playgrounds are built by PTO members or others in the community. While their heart may be in the right place, these playgrounds often do not meet the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) guidelines. It is very important that any new playground installed meets the CPSC guidelines as well as the manufacturer’s guidelines for installation and maintenance. These guidelines can be viewed at TNRMT also recommends putting together a committee in your entity for purposes of reviewing any new playground equipment proposals and ensuring that existing playgrounds meet the proper guidelines or recommendations.

Listed below are some basic tips for daily inspections of playgrounds:

Always make sure kids are supervised on playground equipment
Maintain at least 9 inches (preferably 12) of protective surfacing
Ensure the ground surfacing is contained
Make sure protective surfacing extends 6 feet in all directions of playground equipment (for swings make sure you have twice the height of suspending bar in front and back)
Replace missing or damaged hardware and make sure all S hooks on swings are closed
Make sure equipment is firmly anchored (give it the shake test)
If playground equipment has moving parts make sure they are in good working order
Look for rusty welds on equipment as this could result in the failure of equipment
Look for exposed rods, bolts, screws or nails
If any piece of playground equipment is damaged take it out of service immediately
If you have any questions about your playground equipment, or if you would like any of the loss control staff to take a look at your playground equipment, please do not hesitate to ask. We would be more than happy to help you with a detailed inspection.

TNRMT / SEC loss control staff:

Jason Baggett – East Tennessee – 865-850-4995

Chris Stites – Middle Tennessee – 615-289-4101

Mark Bilyeu – West Tennessee – 615-210-7827

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