There will be times when it is necessary to take a piece of equipment or a component out of service either temporarily while a repair is being made or longer term when replacement parts are on order. It is important that care is taken to protect the site while keeping children from coming into contact with the issue that has been identified.
When making a repair such as replacing an “S” hook or swing seat or performing routine maintenance where the person making the repair is on site, it is acceptable to rope off the area using caution tape or plastic construction fencing. A sign stating that the equipment is temporarily closed for repair should be placed next to the equipment or on the plastic fencing. Caution tape is only acceptable for a very short time while the maintenance staff is performing the repair.
Plastic construction fencing in conjunction with a sign may be used for longer periods of time but should still be considered to be a temporary solution.
Keeping an inventory of items that are commonly replaced such as “S” Hooks, swing chain, swing hangers, and swing seats allow maintenance to be performed without having to take the equipment out of service for any length of time.
When it will take days or weeks to make the repair, a more permanent solution should be considered. If a component or section of equipment is damaged it may be necessary to keep children from using that piece of equipment while a replacement part is being ordered. If the equipment is freestanding, meaning it is not part of a composite unit, consider installing portable fencing around the entire piece of equipment with a sign that states that this equipment is closed for repair.
If the play component is part of a composite structure and children could still play on the rest of the equipment without being in danger, the damaged component could be taken out of service instead of the entire composite structure. When doing this it is important to avoid creating a greater hazard. Consider removing the damaged component and securely blocking off the entrance to the component from the platform it attaches to.