Playground Inspection Worksheets

Disclaimer

These worksheets have been developed to assist Certified Playground Safety Inspectors who are inspecting playgrounds to be compliant with the California Playground Safety Regulations. These worksheets are not intended for use by private firms doing commercial inspections. Safeplay by Design, Inc. does not imply or in any way indicate that inspections conducted with these  worksheets are accurate.  The Certified Playground Safety Inspector that uses these worksheets and signs the worksheets has complete responsibility for the accuracy of inspections conducted.

The California Playground Safety Regulations were revised by Assembly Bill AB1144 that became effective on January 1, 2008.  California Playgrounds must be inspected and approved by a Certified Playground Safety Inspector before they are opened for use and they must comply with all playground related specifications of the American Society of Testing and Materials and all playground related guidelines of the Consumer Product Safety Commission.

The American Society of Testing and Materials has two primary specifications for Playground Equipment.  ASTM F 1487-11 is the Standard Specification for playground equipment for Public Use by children 2 years old through 12 years old and ASTM F 2373-11 is the Standard Specification for playground equipment for Public Use by chiuldren 6 months through 23 months. The Consumer Product Safety Commission Playground Safety Handbook, Publication #325-11 containes information for both age groups. A separate set of worksheets has been provided for each age group.

These worksheets can help anyone prepare a thorough Playground Safety Inspection even if they are not trained as certified playground safety inspectors. Please remember, however, that the California Playground Safety Regulations require that all play areas must be inspected and approved by a Certified Playground Safety Inspector before the play area is opened to the public.  Using these forms does not satisfy the requirements of the California Playground Safety Regulations unless they are signed by a Certified Playground Safety Inspector.

These worksheets may not be appropriate for use in states other than California.  It is the responsibility of the user of these worksheets to be familiar with the specific requirements of the state in which they are used.  The States of California, Connecticut, Michigan, New Jersey, New York and Texas have playground safety laws but they do not all recognize both CPSC and ASTM.  In states that do not have playground laws both CPSC and ASTM are normally considered to be the “Standard of Care.”

CPSC and ASTM do not always agree and they do not cover the same subject matter. CPSC is a user guideline and ASTM is basically a specification for manufacturers that has become the standard of care.  CPSC covers things like supervision and sight lines and ASTM includes information about structural integrity that can only be evaluated in a factory setting.  Where differences occur it is best practice to choose the most protective option.

If you use these worksheets, please send me an email to let me know; I would appreciate any feedback.

Each play area inspection should include one of each of the general worksheets; I recommend grouping them in the order they are listed.  Each age appropriate grouping of components should be treated as a separate inspection, even if two age appropriate groupings are in the same play area enclosure.  Each playground inspection report should have a summary report that identifies all areas of concern and discusses potential repair, modification or replacement options.

USE OF THESE FORMS DOES NOT GUARANTEE AN ACCURATE INSPECTION. THEY ARE SAMPLES ONLY TO BE USED AT YOUR OWN RISK AND MUST BE SIGNED BY A CERTIFIED PLAYGROUND SAFETY INSPECTOR TO BE VALID.

6 - 23 Month Olds

This age group is primarily for child care facilities that provide infant and toddler services. It is occasionally also found in High Schools that teach child care as part of the curriculum or to provide child care for students that may have children.  Some Parks Agencies also lease park property to child care facilities that may have this type of playground.  The most common usage of this type of play equipment is Child Care services.  These worksheets were last edited on 03/01/2012.

This group has two sets of worksheets, so click on both tabs to see both sets.

General

Use one of each appropriate worksheet in this group for each play area.  Not all worksheets will be needed for all play areas.  ADA/ABA does not apply to this age group.

General Information
Name of the owner, name of play area, address of site, age appropriate designation, etc.

Materials
Evaluation of the conditions of the materials and hardware used in the play area.

General Hazards
Evaluation of potential hazardous conditions.

Barriers
Evaluation of barriers for suitability in the designated age group.

Platforms
Evaluation of platforms for suitability in the designated age group.

Stairways, Ladders and Handrails
Evaluation of stairways, ladders and handrails for suitability in the designated age group.

Shade
Does the play area have shade?

Signs and labels
Does the play area have the required and or recommended labels or signs?

Surfacing
Identify the type of surfacing, condition of, and suitability of the surfacing used in the play area.

Surfacing Chart
Print on the back of the Surfacing Worksheet.

Individual Play Components

Each play component in the play area should a separate worksheet.  If there are two slides or two climbers, use a separate worksheet for each.  Use the comments section of the worksheet to suggest potential repair or modification options.  When describing play components it is a good idea to use the specific name used by the supplier, it will make communication between the inspector, the owner, the supplier and the installer easier.  Suppliers have different names for the same piece of equipment.  A corkscrew climber can also be called a curly climber or a spiral climber.

Play Equipment NOT Recommended
Identification of play equipment not recommended for use in public play areas.

Climbers

Crawl Tubes

Slides

Spring Rocking

Stationary Play Equipment

Swings With Adult Assistance

Swings Without Adult Assistance

2 - 12 Year Olds

These worksheets were last edited on 03/01/2012.

This group has three sets of worksheets, so click on each tab to see all of the sets.

General

Use one of each appropriate worksheet in this group for each play area.  Not all worksheets will be needed for all play areas.

General Information
Name of the owner, name of play area, address of site, age appropriate designation, etc.

Accessibility to the Play Area
Evaluation of accessibility From the building or parking lot to the play area.

Ground Level Access Route in Play Area
Evaluation of accessibility route within the play area.

Transfer Systems on Play Equipment
Evaluation of transfer components – Minimum accessibility requirements.

Elevated Access Route on Play Equipment
Evaluation of accessible ramps and landings. All play equipment is not required to have ramps.

Materials
Evaluation of the conditions of the materials and hardware used in the play area.

General Hazards
Evaluation of potential hazardous conditions.

Guardrails and Barriers
Evaluation of guardrails and barriers for suitability in the designated age group.

Platforms
Evaluation of platforms for suitability in the designated age group.

Stairways, Ladders and Handrails
Evaluation of stairways, ladders and handrails for suitability in the designated age group.

Roofs
Does the play area have roofs and do the roofs comply?

Signs and labels
Does the play area have the required and or recommended labels or signs?

Surfacing
Identify the type of surfacing, condition of, and suitability of the surfacing used in the play area.

Surfacing Chart
Back page to the Surfacing Worksheet.

Accessibility

The Accessibility Guidelines for Play Areas has not been adopted by the Department of Justice so they are not enforceable at this time.  Until standards are adopted, compliance with the Accessibility Guidelines of Play areas is the best guidance in providing a “minimum” level of accessibility in Play Areas.

Accessibility of Play Equipment
Evaluation of accessible components as per Accessibility Guidelines for Play areas.

Accessibility of Play Equipment Chart
Support information for Accessibility of Play Equipment.

Individual Play Components

Each play component in the play area should a separate worksheet.  If there are two slides or two climbers, use a separate worksheet for each.  Use the comments section of the worksheet to suggest potential repair or modification options.  When describing play components it is a good idea to use the specific name used by the supplier, it will make communication between the inspector, the owner, the supplier and the installer easier.  Suppliers have different names for the same piece of equipment.  A corkscrew climber can also be called a curly climber or a spiral climber.

Play Equipment NOT Recommended
Identification of play equipment not recommended for use in public play areas.

Generic Play Equipment

Balance Beams

Bridges

Climbers

Climbers: 3-Dimensional Nets

Climbers: Stepping Forms

Crawl Tubes

Log Rolls (Horizontal Axis Rotating Equipment)

Merry-Go-Rounds (Vertical Axis Rotating Equipment)

Spring Rocking

Seesaws

Slides

Sliding Poles

Stationary Equipment

Swings: Multi Axis

Swings: Rotating

Swings: Single Axis

Track Rides

Upper Body Equipment

Executive Summary Samples

These Executive Summaries are given as examples only.  They may be modified to meet your needs as an inspector based on the types of services that you provide and the needs of your clients.  If a series of inspections for multiple sites is required, you may wish to provide a spreadsheet summary for the project in addition to a summary sheet.  The worksheets are used to assure a complete report but most clients will want to have a simple summary.  They can read the complete worksheets to learn specific information about the requirements.

Summary With Approval
Provide your client with an Executive Summary similar to this sample on your letterhead with your reports for play areas that meet the requirements.

Summary With Concerns
Provide your client an Executive Summary similar to this sample that outlines conflicts and indicates options for modifications that may be available.