Health and Safety - Security Fasteners for a healthier and safer environment
The way we lead our daily lives has changed considerably over the last few decades. From emerging and converging new technology – smartphones and smart watches to the frenetic development of mass air travel, the way we live has been truly transformed. But this has also led to the need for more security measures to keep us safe with more specialist features built into almost every product
The introduction of stricter health and safety laws has also led to the increasing use of Security Fasteners which manufacturers are designing into their products to lessen any potential health and safety risks by reducing the ability for the product to be tampered with. These components now play a fundamental role in ensuring the safety of children’s playgrounds, public transport systems, such as the London Underground, sporting venues, street furniture and in vehicles.
The forever playground: making our future generation safer
The importance of playgrounds and play areas is for children to have fun and learn in a safe environment. Securing various play structures such as: swings, roundabouts, seesaws, slides, jungle gyms, spring rides and trapeze rings is paramount, not just so that they’re tamper resistant, but also in terms of maximising safety.
Over the last 20 years playgrounds have changed – largely gone are the heavy metal and often rickety frames of the past. Now, play areas feature safer structures built with plastic, but even the newer models can still be unsafe, if they’re not securely fastened.
The cost to authorities can be enormous if playgrounds are tampered with, not just financially – where a playground can easily cost more than £3,000 to replace if equipment is stolen, but it can have a devastating cost to a parent if a child is seriously injured playing on unsafe equipment and any resulting litigation costs. This in turn can deeply affect the community – no one will feel safe letting their children play in a playground where the equipment may be dangerous. It ruins parents’ confidence in their community and in the local council.
+ Theft & tampering of equipment
+ Increases the cost to maintain, repair & replacing equipment
+ Leads to faulty equipment which leads to injury
+ Potential litigation
+ Can result in the council or operators closing service due to budget or health & safety risk
= Loss of essential service to community / knock on effect community less active, less healthy & less happy
‘Protect our much-loved public places, or we will lose them!’
Unsafe playground equipment is a more common occurrence than many parents realise, often due to manufacturer negligence in design or assembly. The Royal Society of the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) claims more than 40,000 children in the UK each year have had to receive hospital treatment due to playground-related injuries.
The most common injuries from tampered playground equipment:
- Cuts from exposed metal on slides
- Falls from swings with defective chains
- Injuries from equipment with missing pieces
- Abrasions or puncture wounds from exposed bolts, nuts and screws
Children’s safety does not depend solely upon the initial design of the play area and the selection of equipment. Playground Managers may be sued for negligence if they fail to take reasonable care to ensure their playgrounds are safe.
There is no specific legal responsibility to provide inspection and maintenance programmes of playgrounds but it is recommended by the Department for National Heritage and the Welsh Office, the British Standards Institute, the Health and Safety Executive, Insurers and RoSPA.