Tool 11 Monitoring Maintenance

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

Ensure that your natural playground remains safe by monitoring maintenance issues.

When do you use the Monitoring Maintenance tool?

Preventive maintenance is an important part of managing your natural playground. Once your new playground is built, it is important to regularly monitor the state of your equipment.

When you have a maintenance programme in place, you will maintain the performance and safety of the equipment on your playground. Regular upkeep and consistent checks help you to avoid major damage in the future.

Who can use the Monitoring Maintenance tool?

How do you use the Monitoring Maintenance tool?

Use the tool as a guide for monitoring the maintenance needed in your playground. Walk through your playground and take note of the issues listed on the tool. When you find an issue, comment about it in the space provided.

If you prefer you can download and complete a printed version of the tool which can be given to the person that is responsible for maintenance of the playground.

Monitoring Maintenance

Broken equipment Check for broken equipment, such as loose bolts, missing caps, and cracks. Be sure to check for cracks in the plastic. If you do find a broken piece, remove it (or block it from use) until it is fixed or removed. Enter your ideas here.
Broken glass, trash, and fragments Keep your playground clean by disposing of broken glass and other trash; this can prevent cuts and unsanitary conditions. Enter your ideas here.
Loose anchoring Check that all play equipment higher than 50 cm is anchored or firmly fixed to the ground. If you find equipment that is not anchored, remove it (or block it from use) until it is fixed or removed. Enter your ideas here.
Insect damage Insects can damage wooden equipment. Keep in mind that, if you include natural materials in your play area, they will require annual upkeep. You should check for rough spots and regularly sand them down to help prevent splinters. Enter your ideas here.
Animals, rodents, and pests Make sure there are no animals, rodents, or pests in hollows and hide‐outs in the playground. Enter your ideas here.
Problems with surface under play equipment Is the surfacing underneath equipment well maintained? For example, does it have at least 300 mm depth of loose fill material underneath? Check high‐use areas, such as under swings and slides, regularly and fill up if necessary. An easy trick is to mark the ideal surfacing depths on the equipment’s ‘legs’. Enter your ideas here.
User modifications Check if children have tied ropes or other things to parts or equipment or if have they left things out of place. Enter your ideas here.
Rusted or corroded metals Metal becomes weak (and dangerous) where it rusts or corrodes. Check carefully where metals come into contact with the ground. It is also important to check between each piece of swing chain and connection points on the swing frame. Enter your ideas here.
Tyres Remember tyres are a fire hazard and should be stored safely. Drill holes in tyres to make sure water can not get trapped inside. Make sure the tyres have no metal wires sticking out. Enter your ideas here.

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