06th January 2021
The British Standard BS EN 1176 regulates playground equipment and fencing to ensure it is safe for use. The standard has 7 parts which each detail specific requirements for the manufacture of playground equipment.
Each part of the standard deals with a different issue. The parts are as follows:
The standard focuses on keeping playgrounds safe. It outlines the operator must establish an appropriate safety system. No access should be allowed for unsafe equipment or areas. The effectiveness of safety measures should be assessed annually, and entrances for emergency services should be freely accessible. The standard states that equipment should be installed safely to appropriate national building regulations and the manufacturer’s instructions.
Playground standards aren’t and have never been a legal requirement. However, following the BS EN 1176 represents good practice in the event of an accident claim. This means some limitations as compliance won’t automatically create a safe playground. These standards are intended to be used intelligently and aid with creating safe playgrounds and equipment.
The BS EN 1176 details the specification and design considerations of installing metal railings in children’s playgrounds. It states that gaps must not exceed 89mm. This reduces the risk of entrapment, as anything larger could mean a small child could get stuck between the bars. For the same reason, it also specifies that railings should have a shorter hoop at the top.
The BS EN 1176 also recommends that railings have a minimum height of 1000mm and that posts should be capped. Furthermore, it states that gates should not be installed in a position that opens into a hazardous environment such as an open road. It is also important that railings are not installed where they can be fallen on from play equipment or benches. Finally, gates must be self-closing to stop children from swinging the gate and prevent dogs from entering. The BS EN 1176 are in place to protect children from any accidents which could cause harm.