Tool 10 Monitoring Safety

The systematic process of collecting, analysing and using information to track a programme’s progress toward reaching its objectives.

Ensure that the playground is a safe place by monitoring safety standards.

When do you use the Monitoring Safety tool?

Nothing stays new forever. Once your new playground is built, it is important to regularly monitor the equipment and spaces against safety standards to make sure that the playground remains a safe and exciting space for children. The Monitoring Safety tool helps you continuously check the safety of your playground over time.

Who can use the Monitoring Safety tool?

How do you use the Monitoring Safety tool?

Once you have completed the safety checklist in Section 1, use the Monitoring Safety tool to check that your playground continues to be safe for children. It is important to do a thorough safety check of the natural playground from time to time to reduce the risk of unnecessary injuries to children.

Other ways to avoid unnecessary injuries:

You can download and print out the worksheet or fill it in below.

Monitoring Safety

Fall height and fall zones

  • Is the possible fall height less than 1,5 m from all pieces of equipment?
  • Is there a minimum clearance of at least 2 m separating each piece of equipment?

Safety surfacing

  • Is there impact-absorbing material under all pieces of equipment over 500 mm in height? (e.g. sand, bark, mulch or ground rubber)
  • Is the surfacing well maintained? (e.g. at least 300 mm depth of loose fill material)

Design hazards

  • Is the equipment free of possible spaces children could get their heads stuck, such as openings of between 80 mm and 230 mm?
  • Is all moving equipment free of any potential trapping and pinching points?
  • Are there sturdy guard and handrails, appropriate to a child’s hand and grip size? Any platform higher than 30 cm is required to have a rail.
  • Does the larger equipment prevent possible climbing on the outside of the structure? No structures may be higher than 1,5 m.


  • Is all equipment suitably shaded, if no natural shade applies?


  • Is the equipment’s frame stable and free from movement?
  • Is the equipment free from rust, cracks or broken items?
  • Are timber items on the equipment free from rotten or splintered wood?
  • Is all equipment free of protruding fixings and sharp edges?
  • Is the play area free of loose stones or gravel?
  • Is the play area free of trip hazards?
  • Is the play area free of tree branches or anything sharp at children’s eye level?


  • Is the slide securely anchored in the ground?
  • Does the slide have built up sides?
  • Do the slide steps have a guard rail?


  • Are the swings securely anchored to the ground?
  • Do the swings for children under 6 years of age have chair-like back support?
  • Do the tyre swings have drainage holes to let out rain water?
  • Is the area under the swings filled with sand?


  • Is the sandpit placed in the shade or have a roof for sun protection?
  • Is the depth of the sand pit at least 40 cm?
  • Is the sandpit filled with river sand?


  • Is the playground enclosed and gated?
  • Is there enough space in the play area for children to play?
  • Are all garden tools, equipment and chemicals locked away?
  • Is the area free of all poisonous or thorny plants?
  • Is the area free of any litter or dangerous objects lying around, such as glass, tins, and rusty nails?

If you prefer, you can download the worksheet and print it out.