Playground Safety – Plastic Welding
It is possible to repair plastic playground components on-site by using a plastic welding technique. Some of the plastic damage you will find in a playground are slides and crawl tubes cracking, holes and burns caused by vandalism and gaps that may cause an entanglement or entrapment. The plastic welding process can help to eliminate the hazard. The replacement cost for playground components can be very expensive and can take weeks and sometime months to get replacement parts. This leaves children and parents unhappy and can create liability for the owner of the playground. When a plastic play feature gets damaged and creates a hazardous condition it may be possible to perform a permanent repair if the location and condition of the plastic allow. In cases where a permanent repair is not an option it may be possible to make a temporary repair to keep the piece in play and not reduce the play value until a new piece can be installed.
Playground designers, installers and operators should be aware that the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) is a comprehensive civil rights law which prohibits
discrimination on the basis of disability. Titles II and III of the ADA require, among other things, that newly constructed and altered State and local government facilities, places
of public accommodation, and commercial facilities be readily accessible to and usable by individuals with disabilities. Recreation facilities, including play areas, are among the
types of facilities covered by titles II and III of the ADA.
The Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Boards – also referred to as the “Access Board” – has developed accessibility guidelines for newly constructed and
altered play areas that were published October 2000. The play area guidelines are a supplement to the Americans with Disabilities Act Accessibility Guidelines (ADAAG). Once these guidelines are adopted as enforceable standards by the Department of Justice, all newly constructed and altered play areas covered by the ADA will be required to comply. These guidelines also apply to play areas covered by the
Architectural Barriers Act (ABA).