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1 Risk Management Department Playground Safety April, 2008.

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1 1 Risk Management Department Playground Safety April, 2008

2 2 Playground Safety Introduction Recess is an important part of the elementary school student’s school day. Play at recess provides valuable physical exercise, socialization and imagination – all of which support classroom instruction.

3 3 Playground Safety Introduction Unfortunately each year more than 200,000 children visit hospital emergency rooms because of playground injuries.

4 4 Playground Safety Introduction Many playground accidents are preventable, especially in the elementary school setting where school staff are assigned to supervise and monitor play activities.

5 5 Playground Safety Introduction To be an effective playground supervisor, you must understand:  Common Hazards  District Procedures  General Safety Rules  Emergency Procedures  Playground Inspections

6 6 Playground Safety Common Hazards Frequently reported playground accidents include:  Falls onto deficient surfacing  Trip/Falls on uneven surfaces  Students running into one another

7 7 Playground Safety Common Hazards Frequently reported accidents include:  Limbs caught in playground equipment  Lacerations from rough or sharp-edged equipment  Struck by/against balls, bats, swings, etc.  Burns from hot surfaces

8 8 Playground Safety Common Hazards  Nearly 70% of playground injuries are caused by falls  40% of all playground injuries are related to climbing equipment

9 9 Playground Safety District Procedures Procedural Directive Playgrounds has a number of requirements intended to minimize playground accidents. These include:  Requirements for Equipment  Supervision

10 10 Playground Safety District Procedures Requirements for Equipment  All playground equipment shall be designed, installed, and inspected in accordance with the Consumer Product Safety Commission's (CPSC) Handbook for Public Playground Safety, and the American Society for Testing and Material (ASTM) F Standard Consumer Safety Performance Specifications for Playground Equipment for Public Use.

11 11 Playground Safety District Procedures  Prohibited play equipment includes: Wooden structures Motorized equipment Second hand or salvaged equipment Residential type equipment High equipment

12 12 Playground Safety District Procedures  Prohibited play equipment includes: Equipment which requires special maintenance procedures Metal slides or metal seats Trampolines Tires Swinging exercise rings

13 13 Playground Safety District Procedures  Modifications which include the installation of new or donated equipment or modifications to existing equipment or play areas must be coordinated through Facilities Design & Construction.

14 14 Playground Safety District Procedures Supervision  A minimum of one adult staff member per 125 students must be on the playground to provide supervision, depending on the playground's layout and how large an area an individual teacher can observe at any given time.

15 15 Playground Safety District Procedures Supervision  Duty staff are responsible for providing and supervising rules for the playground. These include: Defining play areas Explaining rules for various games and activities Defining walk/run areas Monitoring use of play structures Ensuring students are using play structures appropriate for their age group Procedures for dealing with injuries, illness, etc.

16 16 Playground Safety General Safety Rules  Staff should not participate in or umpire any specific game or activity since their primary responsibility is the supervision of all students on the playground.  Staff members are expected to intervene immediately if playground rules are being violated.  Never allow a student to remain in a classroom or outdoor area unattended.  Report any deficient equipment or conditions identified as soon as possible.

17 17 Playground Safety General Safety Rules  Immediately report any unidentified visitors to the office.  Do not permit tackle football, aggressive play or other dangerous games or activities. Take prompt action to curtail the activity.  Ensure students are playing on age appropriate equipment.  Be aware of student clothing hazards such as drawstrings on jackets, hoods, etc.

18 18 Playground Safety Emergency Procedures  An effective method of communication must be established for notifying the office that an accident has occurred on the playground.  Staff must not leave the playground unattended to escort an injured student inside the building.  Perform first aid for the injured student as necessary.  Do not move the injured student if moving him/her will cause more harm.

19 19 Playground Safety Emergency Procedures  Summon emergency medical services EMS if necessary.  Assign a staff member to direct EMS to the injury scene.  Keep other students away from the injured person.  If faulty equipment was the cause of the accident, it must be immediately put out of use.

20 20 Playground Safety Emergency Procedures  Injuries must be reported on the Student Accident Report form when: Life threatening or catastrophic incidents Recommendation for further medical evaluation Head injury (e.g., blows to the head, whip lash, injuries around eye socket, or any other questionable injury to the head which in the opinion of the Nurse/Health Assistant warrants documentation) Faulty equipment or unsafe condition existed Judgment call - "gut feeling"

21 21 Playground Safety Emergency Procedures  Include in Student Accident Report: Complete all information requested on the form Add who was supervising - on duty and where - at the time of incident Witnesses Provide all relevant details at the time of incident Attach diagrams, rosters, etc.

22 22 Playground Safety Playground Inspection Play equipment and playgrounds must be maintained in order to remain in safe working condition. Specific items that should be inspected and noted are:  Fall surfaces around playground equipment should be filled with at least 12 inches of loose fill, such as wood chips or sand  Stationary equipment should have at least a 6-foot use zone in all directions.  Check for sharp edges and dangerous hardware, like open "S" hooks

23 23 Playground Safety Playground Inspection  Is playground equipment free from broken or missing: handrails, guardrails, protective barriers, steps or rungs on ladders?  Is equipment free from rough and/or sharp points, corners and edges, edges, rust and cracks?  Are all fences, benches and signs on the playground in good condition?  Is equipment free of protrusions and projections? Are all protective caps and plugs in place?

24 24 Playground Safety Playground Inspection  Have all trip hazards, such as exposed footings on anchoring  devices and rocks, roots, or any other environmental obstacles been removed from the play area?  Is the anchoring of all equipment stable?  Are moving parts such as swing bearing hangers in good condition and free of wear?  Are play area drainage problems controlled? Are playground surface free of divots, holes and other trip/fall hazards?

25 25 Playground Safety Playground Inspection  Any problem items must be reported to Maintenance & Operations (M&O) for repair  Unsafe conditions or areas should be identified and children should be restricted from play in such areas

26 26 Playground Safety You are finished! You have finished the Playground Safety training. Open the quiz from the link on the Risk Management Department website Training page. Print the form and be sure to write your name, location and employee number in the spaces provided. Complete the questions and have your supervisor send it to the Risk Management office.


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