Reference: Consumer Product Safety Commission Playground Handbook.

Make sure surfaces around playground equipment have at least 12 inches of wood chips, mulch, sand, or pea gravel, or are mats made of safety-tested rubber or rubber-like materials.

Check that protective surfacing extends at least six feet in all directions from play equipment. For swings, be sure surfacing extends, in back and front, twice the height of the suspending bar.

General Hazards

Make sure spaces that could trap children, such as openings in guard rails or between ladder rungs, measure less than 3.5 inches or more than 9 inches.

Ensure protective caps are securely installed and equipment is free of sharp edges or damage.

Make sure elevated surfaces, like platforms and ramps, have guardrails to prevent falls.

Equipment is free of potential clothing entanglement hazards.

Equipment is free of pinch, crush, shearing points or exposed moving parts.

Looking for tripping hazards; i.e. exposed concrete footing, tree stumps, and rocks.

Deterioration of Equipment

Equipment and playground area free from presence of rot, rust, cracks and splinters.

Equipment safely anchored.

Security of Hardware

Check for dangerous hardware, like open "S" hooks or protruding bolt ends.

Equipment Use Zones

Make sure play structures more than 30 inches high are spaced at least 9 feet apart.

Drainage Systems

Playground area free from drainage problems.

Additional Findings


Finding Description


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Please note that this checklist is a hypothetical example and provides basic information only. It is not intended to take the place of, among other things, workplace, health and safety advice; medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment; or other applicable laws. You should also seek your own professional advice to determine if the use of such checklist is permissible in your workplace or jurisdiction.