Supply Chain Issues Delay New Memorial Park Playground Equipment, Old Equipment Safety Inspection Results
The Village of Swanton ordered all new playground equipment, including a new and safer surface for it to be placed on in January of this year. Originally, the plan for this $200,000 project was to have if completed before the annual Swanton Corn Festival, scheduled for August 13, 2022.
However, as Village Administrator Rosanna Hoelzle explained during Monday night’s Council meeting, supply chain issues, which are occurring globally, keep pushing the arrival date back. There will also be some other work that will need done in the playground area which, in order to minimize the playground’s down time, is planned to do at the same time. As of now, it appears the installation will take place in late August or early September.
Recently, the Village had the current playground equipment inspected for compliance to the guidelines established in the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) Handbook for Public Playground Safety. Below are their findings”
Spiral Slide – The slide is non-compliant with current CPSC recommendations and should be removed and destroyed. Specific hazards exist. Several large gaps exist between the slide bed and the vertical support post that have the potential to create an entanglement. A small opening in the handrail at the transition platform creates a head entrapment. Clearance distance between the slide bed and the vertical support creates a contact hazard.
Truck Climber – The climber can be updated to meet CPSC recommendations. Specific updates are:
The pole ends are of a diameter less than three inches. This small diameter creates an impalement hazard that is specifically dangerous to the eyes. Three-inch disks should be affixed to the pole ends of the climber or the addition of a piece of material to cover the exposed ends. The coating on the poles is showing signs of deterioration. The surface should be prepared and coated.
Seated Spring Rocker – The rocker can be updated to meet CPSC recommendations. The handholds and footholds are of a diameter that creates an impalement hazard that is specifically dangerous to the eyes. Three-inch disks should be affixed to the ends of the footholds to remove the hazard
Large Composite Play Structure – The structure is a commercially designed and constructed 5-12 composite play structure. It has various areas where the surface coating is deteriorating, but the overall condition is good for its age. My understanding is that the structure must be removed to make room for newer equipment. Carefully disassembled and removed, the structure could be made available to another municipality or school to be reinstalled as a playground. I would recommend that the future owner of the structure contact the manufacturer for proper installation and any updates that potentially could be included.
Large A-Frame Swing – The swing system is in good condition for its age. The safe zone of surfacing material is compliant with CPSC recommendations. The large zone is based on the fall height of the swing pivot location. I only mention this observation as many communities struggle to continually maintain large safety surface zones as the cost of surfacing material increases. Consideration should be made to replace the swing with a newer design that accommodates users of all ability levels and where the fall height is closer to the surface to limit the size of the recommended use zone.
Small Composite Play Structure – The structure is a commercially designed and constructed 5-12 composite play structure. It has various areas where the surface coating is deteriorating, but the overall condition is good for its age. It is my understanding that a potential change of the play activities incorporated with the structure are under consideration. If the changes include a change in the intended user age range from a 5-12 to a 2-5, the fall height of the activities will need to be lowered. The vertical support posts are in excellent condition and should be able to be fitted with more age-appropriate activities. Contacting the manufacturer to inquire about changing the activities would be my recommendation.