Playground Safety Is No Accident - 5th Edition

IPSI, LLC Introduces New and Improved Playground Safety Is No Accident, 5th Edition
By Kenneth S Kutska, Executive Director
International Playground Safety Institute, LLC
November 19, 2011

Attention Playground Owner/Operators!
ASTM releases new F1487 2011 Standard, U.S. CPSC revises Handbook for Public Playground Safety (November 2010) and 2010 American's With Disabilities Act becomes enforceable Federal Law.

IPSI, LLC offers New Playground Safety Inspection and Training Resource
On behalf of the tens of thousands of playground owner/operators who have and will continue to use the contents of Playground Safety Is No Accident (PSINA) as a guide for inspecting and maintaining safer playgrounds, we are pleased to announce a new and improved 5th Edition, including, a new upgraded interactive CD of all the forms and worksheets as described within the book.

Today's playground safety needs have become more complex and inspectors need more information and tools to perform a more effective and efficient job. Over the years, many Certified Playground Safety Inspector's (CPSI's) have taken time to write and express their needs for additional resources. This new version includes many of these suggestions. There are two personal CPSI stories that demonstrate how they utilized this book's content to develop, implement, and improve a playground safety inspection and maintenance program.

New Standards require rewrite of PSINA 4th Edition
Since the release of the Fourth Edition in 2008 there have been new releases of the ASTM F1487 and the CPSC Handbook. Both required another complete review of the book's content resulting in many revisions, including a major rewrite to the Public Playground Compliance Audit Inspection Form. The revised form reflects the most current recommendations found within both of these playground industry's voluntary compliance documents. The form includes the new citation numbers relative to either the CPSC or ASTM document. These citations provide a reference to assist the user in preparing formal reports. They also provide a quick reference guide for less experienced inspectors who may need to refresh their interpretation of specific issues that may arise during the inspection process.

The Americans With Disabilities Act becomes Federal Law effective September 2010
In September of 2010 the United States Department of Justice 2010 ADA Standard for Accessible Design (DOJ 2010 Standard) became law. While no one can be certain of absolute compliance to this law, the twenty (20) questions in the Accessibility Section of this form provides a basic assessment in relation to many barriers often found in a public playground area and the minimum requirements of the DOJ 2010 Standard. This assessment process does not attempt to qualify a playground as ADA compliant.

playground safety is no accident 5th editionNew Maintenance Needs Assessment Checklist added to improve Routine Inspections
The PSINA book again includes a CD of forms and worksheets. This CD can also be purchased separately. The CD not only includes the updated Compliance Audit Inspection Form, it includes some additional resources for easy reference back to the entire source document. These new PDF resources include the new DOJ 2010 Standard and the most recent November 2010 CPSC Handbook. Due to copyright issues, the CD does not include the new ASTM F1487-11 Standard. In addition to these resource documents we have include a new "Maintenance Needs Assessment Checklist" covering those inspection items most commonly found in a routine inspection and maintenance process. This checklist covers the general playground environment for items such as site amenities, landscaping, walkways, and signs. Additionally, general play area surfacing requirements prior to moving into those items related to specific types of play equipment. This checklist will assist in the development of a more detailed and customized Low Frequency Inspection Form. The checklist will assist a novice inspector conduct a detailed inspection without having to memorize each and every item that may need to be inspected.

Improved CD of forms and worksheets now SAVE directly to your computer database.
There are many other changes to the 2011 5th Edition and its companion interactive CD that improve its usability. Adobe Acrobat Reader 7.0 or higher is required to use the PDF forms and can be downloaded free from the Adobe Web Site. One of the many new features to the updated CD is that you no longer need Adobe Suite Software to create and store customized inspection forms. Your work can be saved directly into specific site history electronic files or folders enhancing the ability to immediately save your work into a computer database for easy documentation storage and go back and modify or finish your work at a later time. Each form and worksheet now includes a SAVE AS option tab at the end of each document in addition to the only two previous options of PRINT FORM and RESET FORM.

Compliance Audit Inspection Form reformatted to SAVE by Section
Another improvement to the revised Compliance Audit Inspection Form beyond implementing the latest standards and guidelines was to reformat to allow for saving, printing, and resetting each individual equipment section. By allowing each individual specific equipment type section to be individually printed or saved, it no longer requires the need to print the entire audit and then make additional copies of a particular section when multiples of same equipment type is present. An example would be to print or save six slide sections for a composite playground with six slides.

NRPA recommends PSINA as required reading for CPSI Exam without taking Course
Although new CPSI Course participants receive this new updated CD they no longer get a copy of the book itself. The National Recreation and Park Association recommends first time CPSI Course participants purchase the Playground Safety Is No Accident, 5th Edition book before using the CD forms and worksheets. This is especially true for those individuals new to the playground safety inspection and risk management processes discussed in the CPSI Program. The book includes background information and detailed instructions on how to use the forms. It also includes other staff training materials to assist those with less knowledge, skill, and experience related to the use of these forms. This book is one of the recommended readings for anyone preparing to take the CPSI Certification Exam without first participating in the actual CPSI Course.


Appendix includes sample Under 2 Play Area Audit, Sample Site History File, CPSC Alerts
The PSINA Appendix at the end of the book includes a complete sample site history file for typical playground. In addition, there is an example of another compliance inspection form from David Spease (California), and fellow CPSI Course instructor. He has given permission for the inclusion of his inspection form for a play area intended for toddlers six (6) months through twenty-three (23) months of age following the ASTM F2373 Standard. There is also other pertinent compliance information on the State of California playground safety legislation and several public domain documents from the U. S. CPSC on various consumer alerts and important technical information documents for the playground operator.

The contents of this book provide practical information concerning the subject matters covered. It is sold with the understanding that neither the IPSI, LLC, the publisher, author, contributing writers nor the agencies or organizations they may represent are rendering legal advice or other professional service. Both the law and professional standards and guidelines change regularly, and may vary from state to state and from one locality to another. You should consult a competent attorney in your state if you are in need of specific legal advice concerning any of the subjects addressed in this book.

Playground Safety Inspector Worksheets including the sample Playground Safety Compliance Audit and Inspection Forms are intended for voluntary use by anyone who has purchased a copy of Playground Safety Is No Accident to document playground equipment conditions at the time of inspection. Effort has been made to ensure the appropriateness of the forms in relation to best practices for inspecting playground equipment. However, Standards and Guidelines change from time to time and the final determination of the appropriate inspection practices and safety of playground equipment must be determined on a case-by-case basis. In addition, all manufacturer requirements must be strictly followed. Participants of the Certified Playground Safety Inspection Course who have attained CPSI status should, with practice and continued study, become skilled in applying their knowledge in conducting accurate and complete playground safety assessments according to their own frequency as determined by internal policy and procedures. NRPA and IPSI, LLC and the book contributors do not endorse or enforce use of these forms. No certification or "seal of approval" is granted or may be inferred by the IPSI, LLC the authors, its officers, agents, or employees.

That being said, the materials contained in this new edition of Playground Safety Is No Accident are as current as the information available in the ASTM F1487-11 Standard, the November 2010 revision of the U. S. CPSC Public Playground Safety Handbook, and the Department of Justice 2010 ADA Standard for Accessible Design.