A newly published international safety standard will enable children to benefit from more adventurous play and leisure facilities.
The ‘Benefit-risk assessment for sports and recreational facilities, activities and equipment’ Standard 4980:2023 from the International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) will allow local authorities and playground providers to take a benefit-risk approach when designing play equipment and programmes for children.
Instead of focusing solely on risk reduction, the benchmark says that councils, businesses, and others should take a balanced approach to safety in playgrounds and other leisure facilities. Crucially, they should consider the benefits of allowing a degree of risk and challenge.
The new standard has been welcomed by the UK Play Safety Forum, a group of leading experts which supported the drafting of the document.
Tim Gill, Chair of the UK Play Safety Forum, said:
‘This new safety standard is a game-changing move for children, who have been losing out for far too long because of misplaced adult fears and anxieties.’
Mike Greenaway, Director of Play Wales, said:
‘It is clear that children’s drive to challenge and stretch themselves is important to them and of developmental benefit. It is important that we provide an environment for children that includes challenge. This new ISO standard adds an impetus to us all taking what is simply put, a common-sense approach.’