The Play Inspection...
A new Ipsos MORI survey...
Jon Dalton gives the API...
A new Ipsos MORI survey...
Jon Dalton gives the API...
Q: What’s the difference between a ‘RoSPA’ inspection and an inspection carried out by The Play Inspection Company?
A: Some people still believe that a ‘RoSPA’ inspection is in someway different to an inspection carried out by The Play Inspection Company. The reality here is that there is no difference, apart from the different report layouts used by each company. ‘RoSPA’, who are otherwise known as Playground Safety Ltd, are a privately run company just like The Play Inspection Company. Both RoSPA and The Play Inspection Company only use inspectors that are qualified to an Annual Level by the RPII (Register of Playground Inspectors). There are only 4 people qualified to examine to an Annual Level by the RPII, and our Company Directors, Keith Dalton and Peter Heseltine take 2 of these positions. As a result, many of the current ‘RoSPA’ inspectors would have been examined by either Peter or Keith over the years, and as ‘RoSPA’ also have one Annual Examiner, vice versa.
Q: What qualifications should I look for when employing a Playground Inspector to carry out Post Installation or Annual Playground Inspections?
A: Inspectors that carry out Annual and Post Installation Inspections should be qualified to an ‘Annual’ Level by the RPII (Register of Playground Inspectors). The RPII is an independent examination body that provides certification and training to ensure that playground inspectors are properly qualified. Within the RPII, there are 3 different levels of inspectors: Routine, Operational and Annual. It is highly recommended that you use the correct level of inspector for the type of inspection you would like carried out, as there is a very large difference in the level of knowledge required between Operational and Annual inspectors. All RPII Annual Inspectors will be able to issue proof of their status in the form of a certificate. If still in doubt, you should refer to the RPII website (www.playinspectors.com) where a full list of Annual Inspectors can be found. You should also ensure that you specify Annual Inspections are carried out by an ‘RPII Registered Annual Inspector’ when writing tender documents.
Q: We only purchase Kitemarked or TUV Certificated products so why do we still need a Post Installation Inspection?
A: Even if you buy certificated products, there is no guarantee that your playground will be designed or installed correctly. Many of the defects that we find when carrying out Post Installation Inspections are caused by incorrect installation, or mis-reading of site plans. We will also check that the correct amount of safety surfacing has been applied to ensure that the playground is fit and safe for use. It is for these reasons that a Post Installation Inspection is now recommended in BS EN 1176: 2008 Part 7; the safety standard for children’s playground equipment. It is also mandatory in the UK for the owner/operator of children’s playgrounds to carry out a Risk Assessment when installing a new playground, or making significant changes to an existing playground. The Post Installation Inspection will form a crucial part of this Risk Assessment.
Q: Where should I purchase my playground equipment? What should I look out for?
A: The API (Association of Play Industries) provides a comprehensive list of reputable suppliers from which you can buy playground equipment from. When buying from API Registered Suppliers, you can also be safe in the knowledge that the API will intervene should you encounter any problems with your supplier. It is also good to look out for companies that supply Kitemarked or TUV Certificated products. The Play Inspection Company also offers a comprehensive Project Management Service for assistance in this area.
Q: Why do I need to train my inspectors?
A: More and more authorities are now making sure that their inspectors are suitably qualified to carry out their day to day tasks. The easiest way to do this is to train your inspectors to a suitable level, and register them with the RPII. This training provides a measurable degree of competency for your staff, which could be crucial when defending claims made against your organisation in a Court of Law. The Play Inspection Company can offer training for all levels of playground inspectors, as well as RPII Certification.
Q: Why do I need to carry out inspections on my play area?
A: There is no law to say that any form of inspection should be carried out on children’s playgrounds. However, it is recommended in BS EN 1176 that inspections should be carried out throughout the course of a year. If you fail to carry out these inspections, or fail to keep records of these inspections taking place, then unfortunately you will leave yourself very much open to successful claims in the event of an accident.
There are legal requirements that are applicable in:
The Health & Safety at Work Act
The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations
The Occupiers Liability Act
(Please see our inspection booklet for more details on the legal background)
It is recommended that you carry out and keep records of 3 types of playground inspections throughout the course of the year, depending on the amount of use: Routine (Daily or Weekly), Operational (Monthly or Quarterly) and Annual (Once a year). More information on these types of inspections can be downloaded from our website (See Downloads Section – ‘Playground Inspection Requirements’). The Play Inspection Company can assist with training for Routine and Operational inspectors or provide quotations for carrying out Operational and Annual inspections on your behalf.