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playground inspection record
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Playground inspection record

Playground inspection record

Play equipment and play areas should be regularly inspected. But what types of damage and deterioration should you look out for? Our playground inspection record will set you on the right track.

Inspection regime

Whilst you can’t prevent every accident which might occur when children play, you have a duty of care to maintain any play area in a reasonably safe condition.

The established process is to use external specialists to undertake annual inspections. These are supplemented with a maintenance programme plus condition checks carried out by in-house staff. These regular checks are usually completed once per week, and daily where there’s a greater likelihood of damage.

Note. Some organisations also undertake a more detailed inspection once every three months, but these may not be needed if your routine inspections go into sufficient depth. Consult with your annual inspector.

You need to make sure that the inspector is competent, i.e. knows what each question on the checklist is looking for and can identify any evident problems. You may decide to send your staff away on a short course. Alternatively, the company which carries out your annual inspection may provide an instruction session on site.

Using the form

The checklist covers the basic issues which affect small play areas with a few items of common equipment. It’s divided into two sections: “General site conditions” and “Equipment”.

The document lists 21 separate points. For each one you should tick either Yes”, No”, or “N/A”. If you need to add notes you should also tick, “F/I” and complete the box headed “Further information” at the end of the form.


Add to and adapt the form to reflect the particular equipment. Suppliers will usually provide a checklist to ensure that all relevant points are covered. Add in any issues relevant to the local environment, e.g. is there a pond nearby, is lifesaving equipment in place?

Another change you may wish to make is to list each item of equipment separately so that you can mark off the checks carried out for each one. That’s a common approach where there are a larger numbers of items.


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