Tests, inspection and certification of playground areas

The management of safety in playgrounds is an ongoing process, interactive between all the agents involved and responsible for playgrounds and sports areas, systematic because it requires procedures, and dynamic because they are constantly being used.

The safety assessment of the product, its inspection and certification within play areas, playgrounds and sports areas are all included within the management process and they are fundamental to maintaining these areas in the same conditions as when the design and installation plan for the space was first carried out.

Safety management implies a task that all agents involved in the process, from public or private administrators to workers, teachers, carers, instructors, etc., must carry out to keep playgrounds and sports spaces safe.

Hence the importance of an independent and certified body such as ourselves carrying out the corresponding inspections and certifications of playgrounds, as well as auditing the maintenance management process of the areas themselves.

However, to be able to inspect and certify said spaces it is vital to always start with safe products that have been assessed by a testing laboratory which guarantees that the manufactured product complies with European and international standards, and to then inspect the facilities and finally, to assess them make annually to verify their safety.

We are the only entity accredited by ENAC to perform laboratory or in situ tests, and we are an inspection body under the umbrella of Regulations ISO EN 17025 and ISO EN 17020. With more than 30 years’ experience in child safety, we have technical knowledge and experience in all matters involving children, both insofar as products and environments are concerned. Requirements ranging from child development, design requisites, installation, maintenance and usability.

Services involved in tests, inspection and certification in playgrounds

Playground inspections

The annual inspection and certification of playgrounds, as recommended by standard EN 1176-7 “Playground Equipment and Surfacing. Part 7: Guidance on Installation, Inspection, Maintenance and Use”. We inspect both playground equipment and surfacing, and all ancillary items located in recreational area.

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Benefits of testing, inspecting and certifying recreational areas
Safe playground
Safety guarantee in products and facilities
Minimising the risk of accidents
National and international reference laboratory for child safety

The fact that the manufacturer of and those responsible for the playground guarantee that it complies with applicable technical regulations, and they fact that they can guarantee that they are assessed and inspected during their entire lifetime by independent organisms accredited by ENAC is a member of ILAC, as we are, benefit, in the first instance, the end consumer, because they are using adequate and safe equipment and facilities, and in the second instance, those responsible themselves, reducing costs and unforeseeable accidents

How we perform our tests, inspections and certifications in playground areas

As a testing laboratory, we assess the safety of both playground and sports equipment as well as surfaces as follows:

  •  Physical and chemical tests and design checking, in accordance with national and European regulations, etc.
  •  Assessment of the information or instructions for “safe” use during its entire lifetime (installation, inspection, maintenance).
  •  Revision of the marking in order to guarantee traceability if a dangerous risk were to arise.

All this benefits the manufacturer by complying with European General Product Safety Directive 1801/2003, which applies to all European Union member states and is transposed at a national level, and ensures that the user receives a product that is safe.

Test reports obtained in our laboratory are internationally recognised, because they are performed in Europe, in an accredited and certified laboratory.

On the other hand, we are an inspection body:

  •  We inspect the recreational area and/or facilities, playground and sports equipment, and playing surfaces installed in situ, in accordance with the requirements of the European standard.
  •  We draw up technical assessment rulings, in order to be able to check the safety of playgrounds.
  •  We audit the state of maintenance of the recreational area and its management.
We have experience in tests, inspection and certification in recreational areas

The technical staff and inspectors who perform the tests and inspections of playground and sports equipment and surfaces have over 10 years’ experience in the sector. Being an active member of different standardization committees, both national and European, entails the ongoing training of the personnel involved, offering the customer all possible updates of the standards in order to have the most up-to-date products on the market. This generates the necessary confidence in our customers.

We are an active member of several national and international standard-setting forums and committees related to child safety.

At the national level:

  •  CTN 172/SC 03 “Playgrounds”
  •  CTN 147/SC 02 “Sports, Playing Fields and Other Recreation Equipment”

At the European level, within the CEN/TC 136/SC1 “Playground Equipment for Children”:

Groups in which we take part or have taken part as an expert member:

  •  TG1 “Rationale”, whose mission is to prepare a document that interprets the different requirements of the family of play area standards.
  •  WG 1 “Surfacing”, in which studies are being carried out to add new requirements to Regulation EN 1177.
  •  WG 13 “Playground Equipment and Surfacing”. This group is in charge of revising the general part of Regulation EN 1176-1.
  •  WG 14 “Revision of EN 1176 Parts 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6”. This group is in charge of revising the group of regulations for playing equipment.
  •  “Interpretation panel”; a group of experts there to answer questions about the interpretation of regulations, the most frequent doubts manufacturers have, test laboratories, inspectors, consumers, etc.
  •  TG 2 “The Competence of Playground Equipment Inspectors”; a group in charge of determining the competence of inspectors to achieve a unification of criteria and assessments.
  •  WG 12 “Play of All”; created due to the existing problem regarding the access of children with disabilities to playground and playground equipment.
  •  WG 26 “Outdoor Adult Fitness Equipment”; a group of experts responsible for drawing up standards for outdoor sports equipment used by children due to its proximity to playgrounds.
  •  WG9 “Inflatable play equipment”; a group of experts responsible for modifying Regulation EN 14960, the technical standard for inflatable play equipment, and for creating new parts that encompass requirements and test methods for other types of inflatable game equipment.
Encarna Alemañ
Tests, inspection and certification
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