Risk and Safety in Play: The Law and Practice for Adventure Playgrounds

By Dave Potter | Go to book overview

Chapter 5

Structures and play features

5.1 INTRODUCTION

A unique feature of adventure playgrounds has been the expectation that children will participate in the development and modification of play structures. The construction provides opportunities for digging, building and creating. The results are often dramatic and add variety and challenge which enhance the play value of the site. It also promotes a sense of belonging and ownership among the children, which has important consequences for the children's view of themselves and the neighbourhoods in which they are growing up.

Where play structures are designed, constructed and maintained using the good practice guidance set out in this book, they will, as far as is reasonably practicable, be safe for those who use them. There are no legal reasons why structures cannot be built and used on adventure playgrounds.

Adventure playground structures offer children challenge, excitement, an environment for imaginative play and an opportunity to develop their strength, co-ordination and agility. They are a genuine challenge against which children can test themselves and where the risks are clearly identified.

Where the skills and resources needed to design, build and maintain structures are not available, some adventure playgrounds have adapted by providing structures for children, either built exclusively by staff or other adults, or bought in from manufacturers of playground equipment. Although these playgrounds continue to involve children by giving them choice and control of a range of other aspects, opportunities to contribute to the building of structures have been lost. This has taken away from children opportunities of interaction with the environment and use of tools in a proper way which is as important to them now as when adventure playgrounds were first introduced.


5.2 PLANNING AND LAYOUT

An adventure playground should aim to provide a variety of opportunities for play. The precise balance between the different elements will depend upon the

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Risk and Safety in Play: The Law and Practice for Adventure Playgrounds
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Play Statement x
  • Part One 1
  • Introduction 3
  • Further Reading 7
  • Chapter 1 - The Legal Framework 9
  • Chapter 2 - The Health and Safety at Work Etc. Act 1974 and the Children Act 1989 13
  • 2.8 Further Reading 27
  • Chapter 3 - Staffing and Training 29
  • Chapter 4 - Adventure Playground Site and Building 41
  • 4.8 Further Reading 59
  • Chapter 5 - Structures and Play Features 61
  • Chapter 6 - Materials and Equipment 101
  • Chapter 7 - Tools and Work Equipment 119
  • Chapter 8 - Health and Hygiene 131
  • Chapter 9 - Accidents and Emergencies 141
  • Chapter 10 - Activities off the Site 153
  • Part Two - Summaries of Legislation and Regulation 167
  • Chapter 11 - Health and Safety at Work Etc. Act 1974, the Regulations 169
  • Chapter 12 - Other Significant Legislation 185
  • Appendix 1 193
  • Appendix 2 194
  • Appendix 3 197
  • Appendix 4 199
  • Appendix 5 201
  • Appendix 6 203
  • Appendix 7 215
  • Appendix 8 223
  • Appendix 9 225
  • Appendix 10 227
  • Appendix 11 228
  • Appendix 12 229
  • Appendix 13 231
  • Appendix 14 233
  • Appendix 15 237
  • Appendix 16 239
  • Appendix 17 240
  • Appendix 18 241
  • Appendix 19 243
  • Index 247
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