School Playground Safety: Jarod�s Law � Ohio Department of Health
�Jarod�s Law� – school safety and inspection rules that went into effect Sept. 27, 2007. The law, named for Jarod Bennett (Bennett family site) , and its associated rules are designed to protect and improve the environmental health and safety of
Playgrounds and Outdoor/Indoor Athletic Facilities
School playgrounds should comply with standards established by the CPSC (Consumer Product Safety Commission) and the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM). The inspection items listed below represent the most common causes of injuries on playgrounds. For a comprehensive playground safety inspection, refer to the CPSC Handbook for Public Playground Safety (http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/pubs/325.pdf ). Whenever hazards are identified, the sanitarian should make a recommendation to the school to have a certified playground safety inspector complete a comprehensive audit of the playground.
(a) Students shall not be allowed to use the playground during school hours without staff supervision;
(b) All playground equipment shall be in good repair;
(c) Surfacing in the use zones of playground equipment, specified in this rule, shall be maintained according to the chart below:
-Maximum height (in feet) of equipment or of highest play surface based on minimum amount (in inches) of surfacing material present-
Uncompressed Material: 6 inches
Uncompressed Material: 9 inches
Uncompressed Material: 12 inches
Compressed Material: 9 inches
Double Shredded Bark Mulch
Engineered Wood Fibers
More than 12 feet
(d) Use zones around slides, swings and stationary equipment shall be free of obstructions and shall be of the following dimensions:
(i) Slides – at the base of the slide, height of platform plus four feet (not required to exceed fourteen feet) and a six foot radius from all other parts of the slide;
(ii) Swings – twice the height of the swings (from the surfacing material to the pivot point of the swing) in front and back and a six foot radius from the sides of the swing structure; and
(iii) Stationary equipment – six feet in all directions.
(e) Equipment shall not have any openings between three and one half inches and nine inches in size;
(f) Equipment components shall not have any protruding bolts or separations that could cause the entanglement of a portion or portions of the body, clothing, jewelry, or other items that may result in the strangulation or dismemberment of the user.
(g) All anchoring devices for playground equipment, such as concrete footings or horizontal bars at the bottom of exile climbers, should be installed below ground level, beneath the base of the protective surfacing material, to eliminate the hazard of tripping. This will also prevent children who may fall from sustaining additional injuries due to exposed footing. Low retaining walls (containment borders) are commonly used to help contain loose surfacing materials. In order to minimize trip hazards, retaining walls should be highly visible and any change of elevation should be obvious.
(h) Playgrounds and playground equipment may be designed for children at different developmental stages. It is important for the adults supervising to know what the intended age of user is for the playground being used. It is important to have proper signage or labels at the entrance to the playground equipment alerting adults as to the appropriate age group the playground is designed for.
The school shall make available to the sanitarian, at the time of inspection, any and all reports from inspections done of the playground;
Outdoor athletic facilities:
(a) The school shall have all bleachers, folding and telescopic seating, and grandstands inspected at least once annually by a qualified person. Qualified person as used in this paragraph means an individual familiar with the design, installation, operation and maintenance of folding and telescopic bleachers and grandstands. Documentation of annual inspection shall be available to the sanitarian at the time of the school inspection;
(b) There shall be no areas of standing water; and
(c) Athletic equipment shall be stored properly to prevent water collection and discourage rodent harborage.
Indoor athletic facilities:
(a) All gym equipment and associated loose furnishings shall be safe, sanitary and in good repair;
(b) Cleaning supplies shall be readily available for use under staff supervision;
(c) Appropriate protective matting shall be provided; and
(d) The school shall have all bleachers, folding and telescopic seating, and grandstands inspected at least once annually by a qualified person. Qualified person as used in this paragraph means an individual familiar with the design, installation, operation and maintenance of folding and telescopic bleachers and grandstands. Documentation of annual inspections shall be available to the sanitarian at the time of the school inspection; and
(e) Indoor aquatic facilities shall be in compliance with the requirements in Chapter 3701-31 of the Administrative Code.
For more information on the school environmental health and safety law and rules, contact ODH staff at 614-466-1390. You may review the rule at http://www.odh.ohio.gov/rules/final/f3701-54.aspx
Snider & Associates is only presenting this information to assist those affected by it and not to be the governing body. Please check with the Ohio Department of Health to define the compliance or non-compliance with these regulations. We can help if we are formally approached to do a maintenance inspection of any playground.
Look for more information as we post it.
Snider & Associates, Inc.