The development of the child is positively influenced by play that appeals to body and mind. Playing is the easiest way to learn to anticipate something and to identify risks. There may be risks on a playground or on playground equipment, which are not always immediately recognized by the children, because of their limited experiences. For this purpose, the "adult" eye is required. Head or cord entrapment and inadequate fall protection are examples of risks on playgrounds, which children can not anticipate. The duty of the adults is to offer the children playing facilities which are free from such dangers. Like safe environment, that provides the framework for various adventures and experiences. Most really serious accidents could be avoided by complying with the requirements of the European standard.
All playground equipment will be manufactured according to the European safety standard SN EN 1176. The European safety standard (EN) splits in the SN EN 1176 for playground equipment and in the SN EN 1177 for shock-absorbing playground surfaces. Safety standards are recognized in the Equipment Safety Act, so that they must be followed by the equipment manufacturers. The European safety standard SN EN 1176 summarizes general and specific safety requirements and test methods for playground equipment in its parts 1 to 6.
The choice of materials, details about the structural strength and execution of playground equipment, inspection procedures and reports, safety regulations and tolerance, assembly and installation instructions are regulated.
Part 7 regulates the instructions for installation, inspection, maintenance and operation. The provisions of the playgrounds operators’ responsibilities are especially mentioned. The European safety standard SN EN 1176 and 1177 reflect accepted rules of technology.
Since January 1, 1999, the European safety standard SN EN 1176 has the status of a Swiss standard for playground equipment. Therefore, in the sense of the Equipment Safety Act, an equal legally justified application mandatory for both equipment manufacturers and operators exists.
The operator/owner of a playground has full responsibility for a playgrounds proper condition at any time. This includes the liability of the playground owner for all accidents which occur due to lack of safety precautions. Where possible unnecessary accidents should be avoided and there should not be caused any harm for users. The statements of the European safety standard SN EN 1176 / 1177 create legal certainty for both sides - for user and playground operator / owner. For the playground operator / owner performing regular and proper inspections and appropriate maintenance (according to SN EN 1176 part 7) is the only way to do his duty.