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The contents of this webinar are not prescriptive best practices for every school or school district, but rather suggestions to consider in a school or.

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Presentation on theme: "The contents of this webinar are not prescriptive best practices for every school or school district, but rather suggestions to consider in a school or."— Presentation transcript:

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2 The contents of this webinar are not prescriptive best practices for every school or school district, but rather suggestions to consider in a school or district’s risk management efforts. March 2013 Webinar

3 220,000 playground related injuries ANNUALLY 76% on Public Playgrounds 24% on Residential Playgrounds 79% of the injuries from FALLS 68% Falls to the Surface 10% Falls to other Parts of the Equipment 1% Falls unknown 11% are caused by: 8% impact with stationary equipment 3% impact with moving equipment 10% misc. causes

4 Ages of Children Involved Under 23% 2-427% 5-956% % % Major Causes of Death-Serious Injury #1Entanglement (of clothing, strings, or ropes) #2Falls (onto hard underlying surfaces) #3Head and Neck Entrapment (in equipment openings) #4Impact (by tipped or loose equipment, or moving swings)

5 Factors that Contribute to Public Playground Injuries Improper Use/Poor Supervision Poor Maintenance Inappropriate Design Installation Errors Site Planning Issues

6 A log ladder killed 8-year old girl in Fort Lauderdale, Fl. She was playing on top of an 8-foot high structure. One of it’s rotted legs gave way and she was crushed. A fifth grader died in Jacksonville, Fl. After accidentally choking himself with the loop of a rope swing. Occurred after school. A three year old girl died on her first day at nursery school in England. She was using a 5 ft. metal slide and became stuck on ropes that were part of another piece of equipment. 5 year old boy dies after falling from a climbing frame on a school playground in London, England.

7 6 year old boy collapses and dies on a school playground in Michigan after swallowing a rock A 9 year old girl in Oklahoma died after a school playground accident. The 4 th grader was playing on a new piece of playground equipment at her elementary school. They were using a teeter-totter-like apparatus called the X-Wave during recess. A 15 year old boy died from an after-school accident on an elementary school playground in Michigan. The teen apparently wrapped the handle of a zip line on the playground around his neck and accidentally cut off the blood supply to his brain. An 8 year old girl died after rupturing her liver when she bumped into another student during afternoon recess In 2008 a 5 year old girl’s scarf was caught in a slide and cut off her air supply as she descended. The playground monitor administered CPR and called 911. The girl made a complete recovery.

8 Jumping out of swings Damaged piece of equipment that could become a “crush” hazard Broken equipment that could lead to a an accident

9 Un-safe surface area Damaged equipment that could cause “pinching” and other injuries Broken equipment that is not properly marked “off limits”

10 High equipment with un-safe surface Extremely high equipment with un-safe surfacing High rope apparatus, too many students, surface not safe in comparison to the height

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14 Clothing Improper Use Equipment

15 Accessibility Equipment location Sight lines Signage and/or labeling

16 Equipment Crush and shearing points Entanglement and impalement Entrapment Sharp points, corners, edges Trip hazards Modifications Surfacing Fall areas Documentation/Checklists

17 Some playground manufacturers sell or provide safety inspection kits Head probe Projection gauges Torso probes Partially bounded opening probes

18 Crush and Shearing Points Examples Track rides Merry-go-rounds See-saws Spring rockers Multi-axis (tire) swings

19 Areas to look for Protruding projections (screw/bolt) A bolt that has two or more threads exposed beyond the nut A hook that has a gap opening of 0.04 inches or greater Any piece of equipment containing strings or ropes Slides

20 Students should be cautioned against wearing the following on the playground Upper body clothing with a drawstring Mittens/gloves with connection strings Jewelry Check equipment for Ropes, strings, dog leashes or other objects posing a risk of entanglement Any ropes part of the equipment should be securely fastened at both ends

21 Equipment can pose a risk of entrapment if It contains an opening between 3.5 – 9 inches in size A child wears a bicycle helmet (or something similar) Any piece of the equipment is positioned at an angle of 55 degrees or less (unless one side is horizontal or below horizontal)

22 Areas of Caution Any tubing ends that are exposed and open-ended should be covered with a cap or plug that requires tools to be removed Wooden structures are smooth and have no splinted pieces Metal edges are rolled or have rounded caps Slides have no sharp edges (especially on edges and at the entrance and exit of metal slides)

23 Anchoring devices are installed below ground level and beneath the base of the playground surface material The color of the surface material contrasts with the equipment and anchors Containment walls around the equipment is highly visible Changes in surface elevation is clearly noticeable

24 Check to see that steel belts/wires, etc. are exposed Water, debris, etc. collected inside the tire(s)

25 Appropriate Surface Material Sand Pea gravel Wood chips Wood mulch (that is NOT treated with chromated copper arsenate (CCA) Shredded and/or recycled rubber mulch

26 Inappropriate Surface Materials Dirt Grass Asphalt Concrete Wood mulch (treated with CCA) Carpet (that does not meet ASTM F1292 standard)

27 Loose-Fill Surfacing A minimum of 9 inches is recommended (Many companies mark the location on their poles) Keep close check on areas that tend to get displaced more (under swings and slide exits) Raking as needed Mats help as well Check for loose-fill that has gone outside containment walls

28 Certified Playground Safety Inspector Course Offered by National Recreation and Parks Association The program includes two days of training to educate individuals on playground safety. The CPSI certification gives inspectors the knowledge to inspect playgrounds for safety issues based on current guidelines. For More Information:

29 IT IS ESTIMATED THAT UP TO 40% OF PLAYGROUND ACCIDENTS COULD BE PREVENTED WITH APPROPRIATE SUPERVISION

30 COMPONENTS Presence and Attentiveness In the area BEFORE they start playing Keeping ALL students in sight Not becoming distracted Monitoring and Intervening Know school rules Movement around the area/equipment Intervene at first sign of trouble Preventing horseplay Use of whistles/bullhorns

31 COMPONENTS Hazard Surveillance Defective or broken equipment Swing seats Missing bolts/loose items Surface issues Close monitoring of “high risk” areas Responding to Emergencies Response to injuries Assessing level of injury Getting appropriate help as needed Portable radios Student runners Cell phones Void in supervision

32 COMPONENTS Controlling the Playground Environment Proactive Notice a potential problem before it escalates Decrease number of students in an area as needed Stop aggressive behavior School rules (some do not allow any kind of “contact” games) Staffing levels Documentation/Incident reports

33 TARGET SOLUTIONS (Web-based safety training programs available to all members of GSBA Risk Management Services COURSES OFFERED FOR PLAYGROUNDS Playground Safety Playground Supervision If you need assistance in getting started with Target Solutions contact Ashley Cole at or

34 Consumer Product Safety Commission Public Playground Safety Checklist Public Playground Safety Handbook National Recreation and Park Association Certification Course for Playground Safety Inspectors International Playground Equipment Manufacturing Association (NRPA) International Playground Equipment Manufacturing Association (IPEMA) International Playground Contractors Association (NPCAI) American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) Target Solutions

35 David Colvard Risk Control Coordinator Certified Playground Safety Inspector Georgia School Boards Association


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