Playground Inspections

Your Obligations

The European Standard for Playground Safety, BS EN1176, states:-

“To prevent accidents, the owner or operator should ensure that an appropriate inspection schedule is established and maintained for each playground.  This should take into account local conditions and the manufacturer’s instructions that can affect the necessary inspection frequency.  The schedule should list the components to be inspected at the various inspections and the methods of inspection.”

In the event of an accident failure to have carried out these inspections, or to adequately record that the inspections have taken place leaves the owner vulnerable to a successful claim for compensation and the resulting adverse publicity.

In any event there are legal requirements that are covered under the :

The Health & Safety at Work Act
The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations
The Occupiers Liability Act

Levels of InspectionEngineer carrying out playground equipment inspection

There are 3 levels of inspection (as identified by BS EN1176):

a.  Routine visual inspection

Routine visual inspection enables the identification of obvious hazards that can result from vandalism, use or weather conditions.  For playgrounds subject to heavy use or vandalism, daily inspection of this type can be necessary.

Working in partnership with you RSS can provide any guidance or training to enable you to complete visual inspections at a frequency appropriate to the location and its use.

b.  Operational inspection

The operational inspection is a more detailed inspection to check the operation and stability of the equipment especially for any wear.  This type of inspection should be carried out every 1 to 3 months, as indicated by the manufacturer’s instructions.

Examples of visual and operational inspection points are cleanliness, equipment ground clearances, sharp edges, missing parts, excessive wear (of moving parts) and structural integrity.

c.  Annual main inspection

The annual main inspection is carried out to establish the overall level of safety of equipment, foundations and surfaces eg. compliance with EN1176, including any changes made as a result of the assessment of safety measures, effects of weather, presence of rotting or corrosion and any change in the level of safety of the equipment as a result of repairs made or of added or replaced components.

 Engineers carrying out playground equipment inspection

All our Operational inspections are undertaken by our own RPII certified team who are also DBS checked, using specialist software.  Inspections are completed quickly and efficiently and include routine lubrication and adjustment (provided the equipment doesn’t have to be dismantled to do so).



RSS can also work with you to develop regimes that are specifically designed for you – no two areas are the same, why inspect at the same frequency a destination park in the middle of town and a single item of equipment in a remote area with a completely different demographic?  We can help you put together a flexible regime that works for you and reduces costs.

For added reassurance we use only selected partners to undertake our Annual inspections.  This provides a third party audit of our own inspector’s findings.

All inspections will be followed by a no obligation quotation to correct any non-conformances identified.

We can propose a best practice solution tailored to your requirements which includes the replacement of worn out parts during inspections, this reduces the timescale from identification of a defect to close out and also reduces costs.   Just ask us for more details.  


How we inspect

RSS operate the PSS-Live asset management system.  This proven software package has been developed in conjunction with ourselves to provide reliable, problem free, secure reporting of the condition of fixed playground equipment.

It’s key features include:-

  • Attaching of photographs – making identification of equipment and any findings much easier
  • On-site synchronisation – no need to dock with a PC in the office, all that is needed is a compatible smart phone/PDA with a  SIM card and phone signal
  • Secure data storage – all data is replicated and stored in multiple locations (even in the event of a catastrophic fire at our offices, the data is secure and recoverable)
  • Data cannot be over-written – once reports are created they cannot be changed, therefore, ensuring data integrity
  • Reports are retrievable – all reports are stored electronically but we also keep hard copy format for 21 years
  • Inspection reports can be sent in either pdf, CD or hard copy format
  • Data can be exported to Excel for data analysis and tailored reporting
  • Incorporates Bing Maps to assist in efficient scheduling of inspections
  • Constantly being developed and adapted to take advantage of the latest advances in technology


Experience and credentialsField Service Engineer carrying out inspection

RSS have been providing this specialised service for over 20 years and have many contracts in place across the whole spectrum of Customers to inspect their play areas.  With over 150 years of staff experience we are always available to offer advice and guidance in any playground safety related matter.  

RSS have a team of RPII accredited Engineers based in our Egham and Selby Service Centres and regionally based in the Midlands and South West.  All our Engineers are DBS cleared and work to our established code of conduct.

Using sophisticated software and hand held PDA’s we are able to produce high quality reports in an efficient manner.  And remember we inspect anyone’s equipment even where the original manufacturer is no longer in business.

Our inspectors are skilled craftsmen who not only inspect for compliance but also adjust, lubricate and tighten loose fixings at each inspection.  We know from our 25 years' experience that these essential preventative maintenance actions extend the life of equipment. 

We are passionate about safety - trust your playground safety to the experts.


“I have found the inspection and maintenance service provided by RSS Playmakers invaluable in ensuring our unadopted equipped play areas remain safe and fit for use with the added benefit of providing written quarterly reports.”

Trevor Rockley Technical Manager (North Midlands Division) Barratt Homes