Effective Date: February 28, 2002
Revised: April 19, 2007
Responsibility: Director of Education
The Near North District School Board recognizes the need to promote positive play experiences within a safe school environment and the requirements of current legislation and in the context of the advice by the Board insurer.
1. 0 NEWLY PURCHASED OR DONATED PLAYGROUND EQUIPMENT
1.1 All newly purchased or donated playground equipment must comply with Canadian Standards Association’s CSA-Z614-03, Children’s Playspaces and Equipment. Letters of compliance with this standard from the equipment manufacturer must be retained with all other documents for this equipment.
1.2 As the Board bears the responsibility for maintaining playground equipment and may be liable for incidents related to such equipment, all such donated equipment becomes the sole property of the Board.
1.3 The Principal is responsible for defining the needs of the school in considering the purchase of playground equipment.
1.4 The Principal is responsible for selecting a company (in accordance with Purchasing Administrative Guidelines) and acquiring the funds (where the Board is unable to provide funding through school renewal funds), ie. fundraising, to purchase new playground equipment.
2.0 INSTALLATION OF NEW OR DONATED PLAYGROUND EQUIPMENT
The Principal is responsible for choosing a location on the property for the playground equipment in consultation with the Manager of Plant or designate.
2.1.1 Equipment installation shall be completed, (as approved by the Manager of Plant, Facility Supervisor and Board certified playground inspector) by qualified personnel (e.g. manufacturer or vendor). This will ensure the manufacturer’s warranty on the equipment and liability for the installation.
2.1.2 Volunteer installations shall not be permitted. Volunteer installations are risky in that there is the potential for injury to volunteers working on the installation. The Board does not carry accident insurance or worker’s compensation type of insurance for volunteers.
2.1.3 The installer is required to barricade equipment until work is completed (e.g. snow fence).
2.2 SITE PREPARATION/GROUND COVER
All surface and ground preparation must be provided by qualified personnel in accordance with recommended CSA standards.
2.3 FINAL INSPECTION
The Principal and Facility Supervisor shall ensure all newly installed equipment and site preparation/ground cover shall be inspected prior to use by a certified playground inspector. The Principal shall retain inspector’s checklist for future reference.
All playgrounds must have signage to identify that they are unsupervised outside of school hours. Refer to Appendix ‘A’ for signage wording.
3.0 INSPECTIONS FOR NEW OR EXISTING EQUIPMENT
3.1 DAILY INSPECTIONS
The Principal or designate shall implement a daily visual inspection program to look for overnight vandalism to the play structures or harmful debris under the structures. Simple documentation of such should be maintained, e.g. having the designated person initial a calendar page and note the time of inspection. This could be assigned to the first person on yard duty in the morning.
3.2 WEEKLY INSPECTIONS
The Principal or designate shall implement a weekly inspection program. This shall entail checking for loose bolts, wearing on chains or swing seats, etc. and the general security of the structures. These weekly inspections shall be logged. (Please see attached Appendix ‘B’ for sample inspection form.)
3.3 ANNUAL INSPECTIONS
The Principal shall implement an annual inspection program. Each playground structure shall be annually inspected by a certified playground inspector. If, during an inspection, a weakness is identified in a structure and it cannot be immediately repaired, the equipment shall be isolated or removed from service until repairs can be made.
The written inspection report must be retained with all other documentation for the playground structure, to be produced for inspection if required.
4.0 ON-GOING MAINTENANCE AND REPAIRS
The Board will assume the cost of annual inspections through three Board certified playground inspectors subject to availability. Outside certified inspectors may be brought in at the discretion and cost of the Principal.
In addition, the Board shall cover the costs of minor repairs to play structures and ground cover, up to a maximum of $500 annually per school.
Custodians and/or Maintenance personnel shall inspect the playground surfacing on a regular basis. Potential defects of a playground include protective surfacing that is compacted, eroded, displaced to an ineffective level, not extensive enough to cover recommended area, unsanitary or littered. Loose-fill materials can deteriorate and will become displaced in heavy-use areas, e.g. under swings and the bottom of slides, so regular monitoring and attention shall be required to ensure that proper material depth and grade are maintained. All corrective measures taken shall be recorded on the “Playground Surfacing Record” as per Appendix ‘C’.
5.0 WINTER USE OF PLAYGROUNDS
It is the position of the Near North District School Board that all playground equipment cannot be safety operated during the following winter conditions:
1. Freezing temperatures
2. Snow build-up
3. Ice or freezing rain
4. Periods when students wear winter clothing
5. Frozen ground cover
Therefore, all playground equipment is off limits from November 1 to March 31. Notice thereof to be posted with appropriate signage (see Appendix ‘A’) and communicated to parents via correspondence, eg. newsletters.
Playgrounds may be used by students during school hours at the discretion of the Principal.
6.0 SAFETY RULES
Teachers, students and volunteer supervisors should be introduced to the following rules with periodic reminders – e.g. September and March.
1. No pushing.
2. No running around play structures.
3. Take turns.
4. No fighting.
5. In case of injury – DO NOT MOVE THE PERSON. Report to supervisor immediately.
6. No throwing sticks, stones, or other objects.
7. No eating while on playground equipment.
8. Playground equipment is off limits during rainy weather or when conditions in 5.0 are apparent.
9. Skipping ropes, ropes or strings are not permitted on playground equipment.
10. No scarves, loose drawstrings, or helmets, are permitted on playground equipment.
11. Set rules for specific pieces of play equipment – define maximum number of students and age levels permitted.
7.0 ACCIDENT INSURANCE
Parents should be reminded that the Board does not carry accident insurance for students. Student Accident Enrolment forms pointing out the value of this low-cost coverage are available from Health and Safety throughout the school year.
The Board reserves the right, in the case of any playground equipment or otherwise, to remove or relocate such playground equipment in the event of safety, accommodation or other reasonable concerns.