MISD Facilities Department has an ongoing program to provide a safe and hazard-free playground environment. Safety Inspectors regularly inspect playground equipment to assure that each piece meets Federal Guidelines and to observe any safety problems with the equipment.
Problems found are reported to Facilities Maintenance and are promptly repaired. Equipment found to be incompatible with current safety standards will be removed if it cannot be brought into compliance. Impact attenuating safety surfacing has been installed under all equipment that requires such protection.
Mansfield I.S.D. encourages and appreciates any PTA or other group that wishes to purchase and install playground equipment. In order to assure that all safety and code requirements are met, they should follow the guidelines listed below:
The organization providing the funding for the project must fund not only the purchase of the equipment itself, but also the installation of the equipment; the purchase and installation of safety surfacing and retaining walls to hold the surfacing in place if needed; sidewalks necessary to allow handicap access to the site if none currently exist; etc. These additional items can sometimes cost as much as the playground equipment itself, so be aware of this fact and be certain to consult with the district’s General Maintenance Supervisor early in the planning process.
The goal for our playgrounds is to make them challenging, fun, accessible, low maintenance and above all - safe. The following procedures have been established to help us accomplish our goal.
Early in the process of planning the purchase of new equipment, the MISD maintenance department should be consulted about the site on which you are thinking of installing the new play equipment. Their representative, a Certified Playground Safety Inspector, will survey the site to insure that adequate drainage exists, that there are no gas, water, irrigation or electric lines that might be disturbed during excavation, that access to the site can readily be provided and that there is adequate area for use/fall zones (if required), etc.
All new playground equipment must meet the latest published standards/guidelines for both the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).
All new equipment designs should take into account the Americans with Disabilities Act and access for our handicapped children, both to the site and to the equipment itself.
Retaining walls for safety surfacing materials must be constructed using concrete or materials with a factory guaranteed life span of not less than 7 years. Landscape or construction timbers are not acceptable.
Safety surfacing materials must be legally considered accessible and must meet the latest applicable ASTM standards for impact attenuation of surface systems under and around playground equipment, currently ASTM F 1292. Documentation of compliance must be provided to the maintenance department.
Safety surfacing materials and playground equipment must be installed according to manufacturers directions and specifications.
Copies of warranties, maintenance schedules, parts lists, inspection checklists, equipment assembly instructions and items of a like nature must be provided to the MISD maintenance department prior to final payment.
All new composite play areas must have on-site signage indicating use guidelines for the equipment. Example of minimum required message: “This play area is designed for children 2 to 5 years of age (or 5 to 12, or whatever is appropriate for the equipment). Adult supervision is always recommended.
The MISD Maintenance Department is funded ONLY for maintaining existing equipment. We are not allocated funds to assist in constructing sidewalks or retaining walls; purchasing safety surfacing materials; installing equipment, benches, backstops or other equipment; etc. These items are to be considered a part of the cost of the play area and must be fully funded by the purchasing entity.