Outdoor playgrounds are an absolute necessity for any business or social area looking to appeal to local or passing families. They can turn your business or park into a family friendly and memorable space for all ages, increase the likelihood of repeat visits and improve “family friendliness”.
However, you’re more than likely aware that it’s not just as simple as ringing someone up and getting a “playpark” installed. The process requires planning, designing, risk assessments and insurance (to mention a few), as well as ongoing maintenance.
Naturally, children’s safety is and should be first-and-foremost in your mind when planning for a play park installation. This requirement is backed up by three Acts of Parliament at a minimum, which cover (along with other things) children’s playgrounds:
Occupier’s Liability Act 1957
This act places a “Duty of Care” on the premises’ occupier to people visiting and using the facilities provided. It also states that “greater care” is required where children are concerned.
Health and Safety at Work Act 1974
This act places a duty on businesses which provide play facilities to ensure the health and safety of persons using their premises and facilities. Including but not limited to the siting, installation and continuous maintenance of an installed play area.
Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999
This regulation requires an employer to conduct – as regularly as necessary – risk assessments. This is to identify hazards and assess the risk of injury or death to staff, visitors and customers, and take any necessary actions to reduce the risks as much as possible.
The above acts (amongst others) are put in place to protect everyone. This protection is here for the children using the playground, the parents of those children, as well as you, the business, council, employer, employee, etc.
However, from a business’s point of view, there’s an additional layer of protection required.
Liability Insurance is a financial safety net for both park owner and claimant. Just like other forms of insurance, you must meet (and continue to meet) certain criteria, pay a premium, and in return you’re financially covered should the worst happen on your playground.
Whilst almost all businesses in the UK have some form of public liability cover, it doesn’t necessarily mean you’re covered for the addition of a playground.
A specific playground policy or an extension to your currency policy will be required in order for you to safely have a play area at your business.
However, let’s be clear here. Having liability cover is not an excuse or a reason to not adhere to the regulations outlined in previous paragraphs. Failure to comply to these regulations (and others not listed) could results in serious repercussions for those responsible.
Read our next blog: Reducing Outdoor Playground Liability
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