HOW OFTEN SHOULD SOFT PLAY EQUIPMENT BE CLEANED AND MAINTAINED?
Soft play equipment, like anything, needs to be properly cleaned and maintained in order to carry on working correctly. Whilst every effort is made during the manufacturing process at House of Play – using only the best quality materials with methods honed from over 25 years’ of experience to keep products sturdy and as long-lasting as possible, repairs will be necessary sooner or later simply due to the vigorous use by the many children using it! Any business with soft play needs to ensure the safety of their equipment through regular repairs, maintenance and cleans. These are absolutely necessary in order to keep children safe and your customers coming back!
- According to the BSEN 1176, the European and British Standards document on the safe running of a soft play frame, it is a legal requirement that equipment be properly cleaned and maintained at all times with a minimum annual inspection of the equipment by a competent person. Failure to do this may expose you and the business to a liability claim.
Whilst incidents leading to a liability claim don’t happen very often, a poorly maintained facility increases the opportunity for incident/injury and therefore, the likelihood of a claim. Due to the severity of the law with accidents involving children (and in the age of social media where any bad publicity can spread rapidly), it is not worth the risk! Note that whilst the Statute of Limitations means that a claim for compensation for an adult has to be made within three years of the date of the injury, the rules are different for children, who are not deemed to be adults until their 18th birthday. Subsequently, they can make a claim up to three years from when they become an adult, which is effectively their 21st birthday (accurate at the time of writing).
This means that if you have a reportable accident as defined by RIDDOR, your insurer is likely to set aside a sum in anticipation of a future claim and this is very likely impact on future premiums, potentially for a long time. So, it is best to be secure in the knowledge that all has been done to provide a secure environment for patrons AND to be able to prove this through an auditable independent inspection and servicing process.
OUR PROFESSIONAL OPINION
In practical terms, House of Play recommend a minimum of two maintenance visits a year for any site, regardless of size or turnover with any additional visits at your discretion depending on how busy the venue is. House of Play will provide certification after any maintenance visit. This puts you in good standing in the event of any accident or incident at your site and is useful to display for the public to show that you are a diligent operator.
House of Play can provide a wide array of resources to help sites stay BSEN 1176: Part 10 compliant. These range from checklists for staff to carry out and assess the state of equipment during daily checks to providing emergency callouts for serious breaks and repairs and everything in between. Please contact the team on 01302 846876 to discuss how we can provide the support your business needs.