A&A Playground Services Maintenance Program
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The Reason it Matters
Each day in America, three children die from child abuse, nine are murdered, 13 die from guns and 27 die from poverty. Keeping our children safe and healthy in today’s world has become a number one priority. Unfortunately, play, which is very important in a child’s life has it hidden dangers. One of the reasons a maintenance program is crucial to any playground space and equipment is that each year, more than 200,000 children are injured on playgrounds. Most of these injuries could have been prevented with a comprehensive maintenance program. The national Playground Safety Institute has for 30 years stated that the lack of playground maintenance or improper maintenance has been a leading cause of playground accidents. Another reason is that one out of every three lawsuits alleges improper or lack of maintenance as the cause of injury, playground owners can eliminate this risk by simply opting for a maintenance program. The last reason, is that owners/operators of public playgrounds must, according to ASTM F1487 Section 13.2.1-3, maintain the protective surfacing within the use zone in accordance with specification ASTM F1292 appropriate for the fall height of each structure. Plus the use zone must be kept free of any extraneous materials that could cause injury, infection, or disease; and shall establish and maintain detailed installation, inspection, maintenance, and repair records for each public-use playground equipment area.
Preserving the Play Environment, Promoting the Value of Play, and Protecting Children
Careful maintenance keeps your playground in top condition, this will help increase the playground age and will make it easier to identify and correct potential hazards on the playground. Our maintenance plan helps protect your investment, manage risk, improve children’s play experiences, and control costs. Because play equipment and surfacing are subject to changes from use, abuse, and climate, they must be inspected on a regular basis. The frequency of inspection will be determined by many factors including equipment age, usage, and materials and external factors like the age of the users, climate, and vandalism. For that, we can use three categories of maintenance, routine, preventive, and renovation or repair. Routine maintenance consists of tasks performed on a regularly scheduled basis. This may be daily, weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly. Preventive maintenance involve tasks that occur less frequently but are nevertheless important. The last maintenance category is renovations and repairs where we restore an item or area to sound condition after damage or deterioration.
A&A Playground Services promotes two forms of periodic inspections to assess the condition of the playground and formulate a maintenance program. Those two inspection categories are low frequency and high frequency. The reason behind those periodic inspection is to maintain a standard of care and to identify all new hazards on a playground resulting from rapid or evolving changes such as vandalism, storm damage, weather, breakage, wear and litter. A pro-active schedule maintenance and inspection program will prevent most major repairs, equipment failures and possible injuries to the public.
Low Frequency Inspection
Often performed quarterly or semi-annually, low frequency inspections are in-depth investigations of the equipment and surfacing looking for wear and tear. This inspection requires a staff member with mechanical knowledge and extensive knowledge about play equipment and surfacing standards. During or immediately after the inspection, staff should do preventive maintenance and repairs and/or remove damaged equipment to remedy problems discovered in the inspection. An example of this type of maintenance would be replacing heavily worn “S” hooks that were noted during the inspection.
High Frequency Inspection
Often performed daily or weekly, high frequency inspections look at frequently changing conditions caused by use, weather, and/or vandalism. During a high frequency inspection, staff checks and corrects playground conditions such as loose-fill surfacing depths, sanitation issues, and the presence of trash and debris. If any hazards are discovered, staff should follow school or agency procedures such as completing documentation, taking the area out of use, and/or correcting the problem.
Here at A&A Playgrounds Services, we offer low frequency inspection for the best return on investment.
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