Playground Safety Rules

Every year thousands of incidents are reported on school playgrounds across Ontario. Many of these injuries are avoidable with proper supervision, safety education and good maintenance and inspection programs for playground equipment.

The following examples of playground rules should be refined to suit local school needs. Teachers, students and volunteer supervisors should be introduced to these rules with periodic reminders – e.g. September, January and March.

General Rules

  1. No pushing.
  2. No running around play structures.
  3. Take turns.
  4. No fighting.
  5. In case of injury – DO NOT MOVE THE PERSON. Report to supervisor immediately.
  6. No throwing sticks, stones or other objects.
  7. No eating while on playground equipment.
  8. Playground equipment is off limits during rainy, snowy or icy weather.
  9. Skipping ropes, ropes or strings are not permitted on playground equipment.
  10. No scarves or loose drawstrings are permitted on playground equipment.
  11. Set rules for specific pieces of play equipment – define maximum number of students, and age levels permitted.
  12. Train teachers, volunteer supervisors and the students about the playground rules. Reinforce.
  13. No Bicycle Helmets on Playground Equipment

Playground Maintenance

Playground MaintenanceThe Canadian Standards Association (CSA) have defined maintenance and inspection requirements under standard CSA-Z614-98.

Compliance with this CSA standard is necessary to reduce injuries on playground equipment and the following is a summary of the points relevant to a school maintenance/inspection program:

(1) Installation:

  • Equipment installation should be performed by qualified personnel (e.g. manufacturer or vendor)
  • Volunteer installations should not be permitted unless supervised by qualified personnel.
  • All newly installed equipment must be inspected by a qualified inspector prior to use. Retain inspector’s report for future use.

(2) Inspection/Maintenance Schedule:

  • Daily/Weekly: Visual inspection for broken glass, vandalism, animal droppings, replenish or rake ground cover. This inspection should be conducted before students arrive in the morning, and can be performed by the Principal or a custodian. The inspection and any corrective action should be logged in a daily journal. Remove equipment from service (off limits) until repairs are needed.
  • Monthly: This is a more detailed inspection and must be recorded on an appropriate equipment checklist form. This inspection should be conducted by a certified inspector. Any maintenance or repairs noted on the checklist should be acted on immediately, and recorded when completed.
  • Annual: This is a comprehensive audit of the playground site which should be conducted by a certified playground inspector. Contact your board office.

(3) Signage:

  • Post appropriate signs identifying the owner and a contact number in case of problems, as well as notice that the playground is inspected regularly.