Magazine article Parks & Recreation

Raising the Stakes for Playground Construction

Magazine article Parks & Recreation

Raising the Stakes for Playground Construction

Article excerpt

Playground construction individuals have access to the three year old non-profit National Playground Contractors Association (NPCA). Just as the National Playground Safety Institute (NPSI) and the International Playground Equipment Manufacturers Association (IPEMA) have been organized to advance their designations within the playground community, NPCA is working to provide information and clarification to playground construction issues.

Much of what the NPCA is about is legitimizing the playground installation trade by raising the level of awareness to the need for a "professional" playground installation. Everything we do to raise the standard for playground construction is good for all stakeholders in the playground industry, namely: the equipment manufacturers, manufacturers representatives, playground purchasers/owners, and most importantly, the children. The very term "professional" has many interpretations, the NPCA defines the profession of playground contractor as one who:

1. Is certified to inspect playgrounds by NPSI. This is a minimum requirement that has become a standard expectation by consumers and manufacturers alike.

2. Carries applicable insurances: construction liability insurance, specifically "playground" liability insurance; insurance on motor vehicles: and unemployment and workers' compensation insurance for employees.

3. Adheres to local and state licensing requirements.

4. Has a business plan and/or a set of company policies and procedures.

5. Has references, a reputation for quality work, and good character.

6. Has practical training and experience with playground construction.

Playground professionals in all aspects of a playground project must be problem solvers. Think about the last playground you know of that had an installation problem. How was the problem solved? …

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