For children and their parents or carers a visit at a playground should evoke only pleasant memories. This is, however, possible only if the site is properly developed and the equipment in good condition. That is why the playgrounds should be under constant care and maintenance and that their supervisors, i.e. administrators, owners and surveillance authorities, fulfill their respective duties.
Recognising the existing risks, representatives of eight countries: Bulgaria, Denmark, Estonia, the Netherlands, Norway, Slovakia, Slovenia and Poland, carried out a complex joint project aiming at increasing the level of safety of playground equipment as well as raising the social awareness of all interested people and institutions in keeping the play areas safe.
The experts, who were dealing with this issue gathered and prepared number of publications that help all, who are interested in the proper condition of the play areas. The most notable of all is the Handbook for the inspectors , who are dealing with the equipment in question. It is not merely a presentation of the legal background of playground safety, but above all the compilation of the best practice existing in the mentioned countries. Two supportive publications are the: booklet, aiming at increase the level of responsibility of area administrators, producers, or importers of the playground equipment and the leaflet addressed for the non-professionals (parents, tutors, carers), who would like to provide even the most basic check of their playgrounds.
The work on the project consisted of various analytical activities, among which was the analysis of current legislation and practice in participating countries. But beside that we carried out the inspections of 16 thousand playgrounds in eight European countries that bring the conclusion that approximately 40% of play areas are not safe for children. The irregularities differ from country to country, below you can see the examples from Slovakia and Slovenia consisting of results of the inspections in those countries. To see more on this issue, please contact your own market surveillance offices. You can use our contact page.
Please bear in mind that in order to eliminate any potential risk related to the use of a playground, you should immediately report any irregularities found to the site’s owner or manager, i.e. a housing association, community, caretaker or administrator, and make sure that they fulfill their obligations in this respect. If the problem cannot be solved that way, you should contact the surveillance authorities which have their offices in your own country and which can e.g. order the disassembly of given equipment or even closed down a playground. To find our your respective institution, please use our contact page.