Safe-Tea Break: Playgrounds & Play Equipment
Posted in WHS
As the days begin to warm and we all start to head outdoors again, now is the perfect time to consider the safety of playgrounds and play equipment.
Playgrounds and play equipment are often a great addition to a church as they can provide areas for children to have fun and for relationships to flourish. Sadly, they can also be spaces were serious and permanent injuries can happen to those we care for and cherish the most.
How do we ensure we are meeting our duties of care?
Just like other workplace equipment, there are standards in place to ensure that playground equipment is designed, installed, operated, inspected and maintained with safety in mind. These standards can be complex and often require specialist advice to help navigate. Thankfully, some free advice and specific services are available through Kidsafe SA, a not-for-profit specifically set up to help ensure child safety. Find the information you need on their website.
What about other types of play equipment?
All manufactured equipment intended for child use should be compliant with its relevant standard and operated and maintained in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions as a minimum.
Some jumping castles and other types of inflatable equipment also have specific requirements in WHS legislation, depending on their size and intended use. For this reason we would recommend considering the benefits of hiring commercial equipment over purchasing and operating your own, particularly for community events.
Whether your congregation has an existing playground and play equipment or is considering one, we can help guide you through what’s involved and the ongoing requirements needed to ensure safety.
If you would like to discuss this or any other WHS related matters, church council members are encouraged to ring 1300 766 956 or email Wayne Booth, WHS Coordinator at email@example.com.