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Playground Program

General Information

The current playground inventory for CCSD is just over 700 playground units. Typically, you will have three units per school. Units are designed to be age specific.

All equipment must meet the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) specifications as well as the National Program for Playground Safety standards (www.astm.org and www.cpsc.gov)

The Safety and Equipment Inspection section of Risk and Environmental Services consists of four individuals who are all Certified Playground Safety Inspectors (CPSI). In order to maintain certification all hazards and resulting injuries must be addressed. They are required to inspect, design, maintain, and review plans for all playground equipment.

The Southern Nevada Health District (SNHD) is the regulatory agency that is required by Statute to inspect each playground every six months. Our Safety and Equipment Inspection staff work with SNHD to determine if closure of a playground is required or if emergency repairs can be made to continue use. (Section 5 of SNHD School Inspection Report)

The process of evaluating and prioritizing playground repair and replacements considers multiple factors that include the equipment condition, student safety, existing or potential playground closures, and available resources.

The playground matrix was developed to prioritize the repair and replacements by taking many factors into account such as age, physical condition, extent of use, Certified Playground Safety Inspection (CPSI) ranking, Head Injury Criterion (HIC), safety surface condition, and playground closures. The safety surface condition is a primary driver of whether a playground can be repaired or requires full replacement.

Damaged equipment should still be reported utilizing a work order so that CPSI certified staff can conduct a thorough inspection and determine the ability to repair.

Monthly Playground Inspection Report

Playground Replacement Matrix

Matrix Points

The Unit Condition: The evaluation considers the current condition of the equipment and safety surfacing condition. Several of our older units are still in great condition due to the care they receive from the school staff and community. Therefore, even though they are old, the better the condition the lower on the list the playground will be for replacement. Matrix points 1-5

The Age:  The age of the equipment is a key factor because the parts are only available for a short period of time. Parts are not readily available for units that are over ten years of age. Age is only one factor, but it has a large impact on the number of replacement units since over half of our inventory was installed prior to 2000.  Matrix points 1-9

Frequency:  Use has a direct correlation with the condition of the units. Typically, equipment that is open and available for use all the time by students and community partners has more wear and tear than other units. In addition, equipment used without CCSD supervision increases our liability exposure as we have a duty to keep the equipment free from hazards. Matrix Points 1-4

Certified Playground Safety Inspections (CPSI) and Head Injury Criterion (HIC): Tests are performed by our certified staff members to evaluate the playground for potential safety issues or critical injury. These tests measure the potential for and severity of an injury. Matrix points CPSI 1-5 and HIC 1-4

Availability Playground units that have been fenced off or closed by the SNHD receive priority because we understand the importance of having equipment available. Every effort is being made to keep these units open for use until replacement. Matrix points 1-4

Playground Replacement Program Handout - Printable version of matrix information

The list of playground units by school with the priority ranking is available to view on the shared Google document below.

Link to Playground Replacement Master List

Schools that are indicated with a zero are being handled and funded through Capital Programs. For questions about the matrix prioritization or where your school falls on the list of projects, please contact Steve Johnston, Safety Coordinator, at 702-799-6496 ext. 5650 or at safety@nv.ccsd.net.

Common Reasons for Playground Closure

  • The Southern Nevada Health District (SNHD) is the regulatory agency that is required to inspect each playground every six months. They will close a playground or a portion of the playground for any life safety issues observed.

  • Old equipment that cannot be replaced will cause closure to the entire unit if that area cannot be isolated from use.

  • Playground falls are the number one cause of playground injuries. The surfacing must meet minimum standards or be shutdown to prevent critical injuries.

  • Surfacing can be tested to determine if it meets minimum standards. Safety and Equipment Inspection staff are certified to take these measurements.

  • Our Safety and Equipment Inspection staff work with SNHD to determine if closure of a playground is required per CPSI standards or if emergency repairs can be made to continue use. Every effort is made to keep a unit open until replacement is funded.

All equipment must meet the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) specifications as well as the National Program for Playground Safety standards. In addition, equipment can only be replaced with manufacturer approved items which typically are not manufactured for more than 15 years.

Additional Resources

Playground Safety Flyer

Playground Heat Flyer

Contact Card - Safety and Equipment Inspection

Public Playground Safety Handbook - U.S. Consumer Product Safety

CommissionAmerican Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) www.astm.org

National Program for Playground Safety standards www.cpsc.gov