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Climbing Frame Safety


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Hi all,

 

We've got an old GALT wooden climbing frame, a sturdy old thing which gets used quite regularly. It looks fine to me although it could do with a sand down and a coat of new varnish.

 

However ... I have the 'feeling' that there will be a regulation somewhere that we need to have large pieces of equipment checked each year for safety.

 

So, the question is a. is this 'feeling' right b. how often do I need it to be checked and c. does anyone know who I would use to get that done?

 

Thanks in advance for your help. It feels great to be back on here!

Suzie.

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I loved our climbing frame, sounds the same as yours.

It was used most mornings so we had the chance to look at it as we assembled it. Some of the screws on the hinges used to come loose so I always had a screw driver to hand, but it was never checked officially by anyone. I think its probably in line with most of our equipment, check as you go.

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Hi Sue,

 

As far as I am aware (and as you say, the knowledgeable folk here will keep us right) there is nothing laid down which states any sort of rigid time frame. As always the onus is on each group to risk assess and decide for itself what they think is reasonable. So if you use it alot and feel that it needs some sort of maintenance then you should carry this out to make sure the apparatus is safe. Other groups may only get the climbing frame out once in a blue moon and the wear and tear would be much less. :o

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WE have a Community Playthings one, must be in the region of 20 years old, it is in use everyday, it is beautifully made and has only needed the gadget on the underside of the slide to be replaced which allows it to be locked onto the climbing frame, we check it over as we put it up each Monday, I don't have a maintenance diary for it, so will be interested to see what pops up in this thread!

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We too check ours daily as it goes up. I think it is one of the easier pieces of equipment to check as you have to construct it daily. With ours we did have an issue with the children switching the wooden "clips" (cold medicine - excuse my fuddled brain) and lifting the platform sections. We had to tighten the screws up but other than this it is still going strong.

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I've never heard of anyone getting a climbing frame checked for safety by an 'expert'! (Can't think who on earth would provide such a service!) You just need to risk assess it, then briefly check it yourself on a daily basis and obviously if it looks dodgy take action. Apart from that I'm sure there's nothing else you need to do.

 

Interestingly I was recently reading those health and safety myths which said that actually electrical equipment doesn't need to be checked by a professional once a year at all, it's just a myth! Was one of the slightly older ones (2008 I think), but unless it's changed since then this was definitely an eye opener for me!

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Hi,

I'm in a play group and our climbing frame belongs the village hall and the local authority organise for a playground safety report to be done every year (the village hall get billed for this) and when I was in school our equipment was also assessed anually (organised through the local authority) and that was a different local authority. I thought legally they had to be checked - but I don't actually know where I read that.

 

Our LA use www.playinspections.co.uk and an inspector takes photos of the equipment and does a posh risk assessment, levelling the risk etc

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okay, just quickly googled this! The following is according to www.playinspectors.com (!)

 

"Inspection is a choice. Best practice is a choice. Nowhere does it say, ‘You must’. Play providers have a choice. Safety inspections are not a legal requirement. That is where the choices stop. Just ask one question, ‘Is it safe?’ For an answer we need a consistent method to measure and assess what we check for safety. That method needs to be to an agreed standard or it would be meaningless. Help is at hand and the Standards exist.

 

The agreed European and British standard for play areas and equipment is BS EN 1176 while BS EN 1177 is the safer surfacing standard. They are used to assess the safety of all outdoor play areas and equipment. They are recommendations not legal requirements.

 

Why inspect annually? Because that level of inspection is recommended in the Standards and is seen as Best Practice by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). The Standards also recommend Routine and Operational Inspections"

 

Just don't let my village hall know it's optional - I like the fact they pay for it - it's one of the few things they do to make my life easier!

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Just don't let my village hall know it's optional - I like the fact they pay for it - it's one of the few things they do to make my life easier!

Any idea how much it costs suebear?

 

Maz

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Just dug through some paperwork (expertly filed in a pile of course!)

 

The council do a bulk order and charged each setting £80 +£3 admin charge

 

the letter says it is an opt in but advisory offer and refer to

 

www.rospa.com/playsafety/inspections/annual.htm

 

as the legal/advisory guidance

 

Hope this helps

x

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"Inspection is a choice. Best practice is a choice. Nowhere does it say, ‘You must’. Play providers have a choice. Safety inspections are not a legal requirement. That is where the choices stop. Just ask one question, ‘Is it safe?’ For an answer we need a consistent method to measure and assess what we check for safety. That method needs to be to an agreed standard or it would be meaningless. Help is at hand and the Standards exist.

 

I'm sorry but that made me laugh out loud and then roll my eyes in despair! I hate how they roll out these doom and gloom and scare-mongering phrases "IS IT SAFE!?" they ask dramatically, cunningly designed to make the poor professionals have thoughts such as, "Oh no, I'm not sure. I'm not a professional of climbing frames. What if someone hurts themselves? What if I'm sued? It says it's best practice! I must comply! Quickly I must shell out money to have this inspected!" When really it's not so difficult to tell whether or not a climbing frame is safe or not and no one would ever have one inspected in their own home. I'd like to think that I'd trust the person who looked after my child to be able to tell if a climbing frame was safe without calling in some so-called 'expert' and if I couldn't then quite frankly I'd be finding new child care provision.

Edited by Guest
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