Facility Dude

Playground Inspections and Planned Maintenance

By TJ Imberger
Jul 16, 2014

Maintenance, Facilities Management, Asset Management

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Did you miss TJ Imberger's session Planned Maintenance: Going Beyond Equipment at FacilityDude University this year? Well you're in luck! TJ took the time to recap the class for everyone who missed out!

Boy with binoculars If your organization has playgrounds, they can be some of your largest attractions. They attract families and kids to your facilities every day. A great experience can create many happy moments and a lifetime of memories. It is a great opportunity for you to demonstrate a positive public image for your facility. On the flipside, a poorly maintained playground can result in a negative image or in the worst case scenario injury and/or death. A hazard is defined as “an item that can’t be seen that may cause harm”. Children using your playgrounds are there to have fun. They simply do not think about looking for unsafe items, broken pieces or worn out parts. It is critical that you develop a comprehensive safety inspection program for your play structures and areas.

Where to start

Take inventory of your play structures. Play structures can be single slides, a swing set or a large multi-piece play component unit. Know what you have in the field. Name it by location and what type of unit (Bldg Unit) it is. Create a file for the unit that will include manufacturer, installation date, cost, plans and general condition. Utilize resources such as National Recreation and Parks Association- Certified Playground Safety Inspector program and the Consumer Product Safety Commission, to develop a check list of items to check and inspect on a predetermined basis. Develop a policy and protocol for your staff to follow while inspecting. Make sure they know how important these tasks are by predetermining what steps to take for identifying needed repairs, making repairs and closing down units that require immediate attention.

Keeping Records

A good inspection program is always followed by a good record keeping system. Now that you have your play structures listed by location and unit, you can utilize your FacilityDude Planned Maintenance feature for your inspections, record keeping and work completion record. The key component is to treat your entire play structure as one piece of equipment. This allows you to set up your PM schedule, list the items to inspect as individual descriptions, describe your inspection procedures, record actions taken and record your inspection all on the same form. This can all be done in the field on a wireless tablet or by using many of the Hot Spot options like a Jet Pack or mobile hot spot.

Going Beyond

Since each play structure has different components on it, it can easily become a tedious task to create individual PM checklists for every single unit. To save time create one PM schedule that lists all of the items you could inspect on all of the possible components throughout your entire system. Now utilize this same schedule on your different locations. When you come to an item that is not on the component, simply mark n/a and move to the next item. This will allow you to assign the same PM to each of your locations as a separate work order. Allow your staff the ability to change the status of the work order to allow the work order to flow through your system for items like parts on order, forwarding to a supervisor, work in progress and work completion. The WOID should continue constant for the entire process until it is time to be closed out.

To learn more about playground inspections and playground safety visit http://www.nrpa.org/CPSI/

A packed house for TJ's FacilityDude University 2014 session

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