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January 2011 Playground Photo of the Month

Letter From The Chair Hello to All Our NPCAI Members, Happy New Year Everyone! It appears we (the NPCAI) are off to a good start as we are growing! The NPCAI currently stands at 254 Members! This is Great News!!!!!! This month, I’d like to discuss a little more in detail the idea of a 3 Point Plan for the NPCAI and how you can help be a part of that process. Before we go into the 3 Part Plan, a little info on what we hope is not too far around the corner: The NPCAI may soon be offering a Nationwide Workers Comp Policy. Not completely confirmed, but close, so stay tuned to the NPCAI, our Organization offers MEMBERS a VOICE in the playground industry through leadership opportunity and networking that affect industry changes and address developing needs.

This month's Playground Photo of the Month recipient is KOMPAN. KOMPAN's unique approach to designing playground equipment has enriched children's play experiences for more that 40 years. Founded by a sculptural artist and child development specialist, KOMPAN products are a blend of modern design and exceptional play value. KOMPAN, has been a member of the NPCAI since 2002. To view its profile, click here Name of Location: Skiatook Central Park. Located at: Skiatook, Oklahoma  Manufactured: KOMPAN Installed by: PG Playgrounds LLC. If you are interested in submitting your playground for consideration please email us at If your photo is selected for the any month in 2011, we will have it published and your will receive recognition for your work and a gift from us, for your participation. Digital Specifications: High Resolution PDF files are preferred. Delivery: Files will be accepted via email UNLESS they are over 6 MB. Formats: Grayscale / CMYK color images must be TIFF, .PDF, or .EPS format. 400 dpi or higher.

1. The NPCAI starts with “YOU”: Our Members! The NPCAI Board is here to guide the Organization for the betterment of its Members. Without you there is no NPCAI so what we need from you is more involvement. We need to know what we are doing right and what you want that we don’t have yet! For this Point – I am asking Sylvia to send out a survey to all Our Members that is quite simple: (a) What is the Number 1 Benefit you get from belonging to the NPCAI? (b) What is the # 1 thing/action you would like to see the NPCAI do that would most benefit your company and our members? 2. The NPCAI Board – We need to fill some open slots on the Board so we need to hear from any of you who may be interested in serving. We need to hear from Our Members about who may be willing and qualified to serve. Contact Sylvia for a Board of Trustees Application. Communication and Feedback is essential to our success and growth. For this Point – we are still seeking Qualified Contractors to serve on Our Board. Sylvia sent a recruitment letter last month and we will be sending one again this month. This is important and I will be contacting some of you directly to discuss your interest and ability to serve. 3. The NPCAI Playground Construction School. I personally feel it’s time for the Playground Construction School to “Officially” offer a Best Practices Certification. We need to know how Our Members feel about that and with your input we can make sure future decisions are done in the best interest of All Our Members. This is a key point as well continue to “Improve the Playground Construction School”. I have heard from a few Members but I still feel there are more of you out there with some good ideas so I’d like to hear them. With that said, let’s discuss the Playground Contractors Role with the NPCAI as you are the final link in a successful Playground Installation. The NPCAI Mission is: To professionally construct today's pre-manufactured playground equipment. THE NPCAI IS: A worldwide partnership formed to contribute to the advancement of the playground building industry by promoting playground installation as a legitimate contracting profession within the playground industry. THE NPCAI LENDS SUPPORT: To all playground safety programs, guidelines, and standards that promote playground safety by assisting the public in identifying the need for a professional playground installation. THE NPCAI SEEKS: Active participation in and contributions from its membership and corporate sponsors for the development and growth of individual members, their contracting businesses, and the playground construction profession worldwide.

January 2011

NPCAI Social Sponsors 2010

Letter From The Chair (con’t) THE NPCAI OFFERS: MEMBERS A VOICE in the playground industry through leadership opportunity and networking to affect industry changes to address developing needs. MEMBERS ANSWERS to everyday installation questions and immediate access to information regarding certification, licensing and industry standards. Remember: The NPCAI Continues to Offer the Playground Construction School. The Next Playground Construction Schools is March 23-25, 2011 – Chicago, IL Tool Box Tips: Congruence – Make Sure Your Company Documents, Insurance Documents and Vehicle Registrations All Have the Same Information – Very Important for Work On Military Bases as Well as In The Event of an Incident/Accident: Become an NPCAI Qualified Contractor and use The NPCAI Qualified Contractor Status As A Tool. Here at the NPCAI, we have the foundation in place. Now it’s up to you to: Be the best Playground Contractor You Can Be! Become a NPCAI Qualified Contractor and Continue to Support The NPCAI!

Roger Davis – CPSI , NPCI Chair President – Playground Safety Services, Inc.

A Note From The Executive Director Dear NPCAI Members, Happy New Year!

Feliz Año Nuevo!

And so a new year begins that will surely bring many changes. This is a joyful time at NPCAI. As we look back at our achievements over the past year, we also prepare to move ahead into our fourteenth year of assisting the playground contractors to form and contribute to the advancement of the playground building industry by promoting playground installation as a legitimate contracting profession within the playground industry. We continue to work together, from our supporters, to our volunteers, to fulfill the mission established by our founders almost fourteen years ago. In this month’s issue we are covering Human Resource issues, The Implications to the Playground Owner of the ASTM F1292 and Employment Practices Liability Insurance. We hope you enjoy the article and look forward to your comments. NPCAI continues to grow and evolve as we strive to make you a successful company. It is only with the support of generous donors and dedicated volunteers that we are able to accomplish all that we do. We are truly grateful for your on-going support, and we invite you to join us in celebration of our Fourteenth year in 2011! Sylvia Salazar, NPCAI Executive Director 1-888-908-9519

January 2011

Features Human Resources Issues in Construction Industry - Day Labor Traps by Authorities

NPCAI Social Sponsors 2010

When unemployment was down at 9.4 % not many complained about all the illegal alien "day labor" that was standing on the corner. These workers were used by landscaping companies, car washes, and construction companies. Today, authorities that set up these day labor locations to get them off the street corners and into one place, now stand undercover waiting for unsuspecting businesses to pick them up. Generally, here is how it works. Hundreds of illegal or should we use the more politically correct term "undocumented workers" stand in a location approved by the city. Someone who needs a worker for one day, can pick them up, make a deal and take them to work. Often home owners that need help will pick them up for the day and then drop them back off and pay them cash; this is considered no harm, no foul, even if they are illegal aliens. Many people have no problem with this and if someone is willing to work hard, so be it, as many Americans won't; unfortunately, in California now many cities have unemployment well over 10% and now Americans want those jobs and voters and taxpayers are angry. This has prompted authorities to stop this problem, one they actually created. Rather than picking up the illegal aliens and deporting them, instead they watch and wait for construction workers to come in their work trucks. Why? Well, many believe it is all about money, as the authorities can fine the construction companies and collect revenue. They cannot catch everyone, but each day they nab a few in cities across California and other states. So, if you are a human resource director for a construction company, then you need to know that this is illegal and that not only are their fines, but you could be an accessory and even go to jail. Source: Lance Winslow.

Human Resources Challenges - Employees That Have Fights at Work Obviously, workers and employees are not suppose to have shoving matches or fist fights at work, although if you have been in human resources for a while, well, you've probably seen just about everything. Assault and Battery is a crime, challenging someone to a fight is a crime and having a fight whether both parties agreed or not just cannot be acceptable at work. This is not High School, and fights at work can create a hostile workplace or construction site and stress any company's work force to the maximum. Up until the last decade, there were many industries where stuff like this went on, but no one dare bothered to go and make an issue of it with the personnel department of the human resource office, which probably heard about it sometime later through the grape vine. But, those days are gone forever and if there are fights in the work place, well your company is one step away from being sued. So, what is a human resource agent to do when something like this occurs or a rumor that something like this has happened? First, an investigation might be the appropriate action and even if both parties will not admit to it and you cannot take action on mere hearsay. Still the parties suspected of fighting need to be lectured and warned that this can never occur again and they need to sign a document for their file that they have both be warned and understand the circumstances and the potential firing in the future if this ever does occur. This is human resource documentation 101, so please make a note of it, and duly put it into the file.

January 2011

Features Tire-Derived Product Grant Funding Application Now Available

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In an effort to promote the use of products made from California’s millions of waste tires, The California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle) is now offering grants through its Tire-Derived Product (TDP) program for public entity projects. Rubber Bark works closely with CalRecycle and supports the use of the grants for public projects, which in turn build sustainable market demand. Ag Link, Inc., the company that makes Rubber Bark, is dedicated helping entities develop successful projects through project planning and assistance with the grant application, which has a deadline of 3 p.m. on Feb. 2, 2011. To be eligible for a grant the grantee must be a public entity, such as a city, county or public school (full list available online). Approved projects are granted 100 percent financial reimbursement to buy Rubber Bark and/ or other tire-derived products for their project. Projects may include updating a school’s playground, creating an outside community area in a housing development or renovating existing landscape. Eligibility and grant criteria can be found at “CalRecycle’s grants give public entities the chance to implement facilities improvement projects that may otherwise be stalled or postponed in this difficult economy,” Rubber Bark CEO Jana Nairn said. “The simple, straight-forward grant application usually results in 100 percent reimbursement of a tire-derived product like, Rubber Bark.” For more information about Rubber Bark and the grants available by CalRecycle go to

Blueprint By State Blue Print for Becoming a Idaho Licensed Contractor. Contact the State of Idaho Division of Building Safety at 1090 East Watertower Street. Meridian, ID 83642 Phone: 208-334-3950 Toll Free: 800-955-3044 Fax: 877-810-2840 E-mail: Website: General contractors and/or subcontractors who do work in excess of $2000 (labor or materials) must register. Applicants must provide completed application for registration. This application must include proof of general liability, and worker’s compensation. Also the following are required for specialty licenses for installation of School Playground Equipment, (02880), Athletic and Recreational Surfaces, (02790) and Aquatic Recreational Equipment, (13165). Also must register with the Idaho Bureau of Occupational Licenses at Idaho Bureau of Occupational Licenses 700 West State Street, Boise, ID 83702. Phone: (208) 334-3233 • Fax: (208) 3945-• E-mail - Website:

January 2011

Building Your Business

A Note from our Insurance Guru! Human Resources – January 2011 Employment Practices Liability Insurance and the impact it can have on any business.

A Guide to OSHA for Playground Contractors – Part 1 Starting The New Year Right With the New Year, I thought this would be a great time to talk about our role as Playground Contractors and the Safety of Our Employees. We all know the importance of installing a SAFE Playground but let’s spend a little time this month focusing on the Safety of Our most Important Internal Asset: Our Employees! A Profit and Loss Statement

Employment related claims can have a significant impact on a company's bottom line. Employers are facing a rising trend in employment practice litigation alleging discrimination, sexual harassment, retaliation, wrongful termination and a host of other torts. In a time of economic uncertainty many employers are trying to find ways to reduce expenses and often overlook the devastation of unemployment can have on their company. Even the smallest employee dispute can turn into expensive litigation. When economic conditions are tight many employers find the need to lay off employees which can spur the possibility of an employment practices liability claim. Many companies are still operating without employee handbooks, proper policies and procedures and just an overall lack of proper controls which certainly increases their chances of experiencing an employment claim. Many insurance companies have surveyed and found that only about one third of private companies purchase Employment Practices Liability Insurance and about two thirds of the private companies surveyed had at least one employment related claim in the past five years. The average cost of these claims was around $63,000. So what is Employment Practices Liability Insurance? This is insurance that protects companies and individuals against loss (damages and defense costs) arising from employment practices disputes. Common claims allege discrimination, sexual harassment, wrongful termination, breach of employment contract and wrongful discipline.

As small business owners, we are characteristically risk takers. We wager our business acumen against larger, perhaps more heavily financed groups and other free-spirited, selfemployed individuals like ourselves. Excitement and challenge are the natural elements in such a venture. But to succeed, we need good management information, an ability to be a good manager of people, and the intelligence and inner strength both to make decisions and to make the right decisions. Thousands of workers die each year from work related accidents, and many, many more suffer injury or illness from conditions at work. But how often do we actually see or even hear about work-related deaths, serious injuries or illnesses in the businesses with which we are familiar? How often has our business actually sustained this type of loss? In most small businesses, the answer is rarely and for our purposes we all hope we can say NEVER! For this reason, many owners/managers do not understand why there is controversy about OSHA, job safety and health standards, inspections, citations, etc. But many others have learned why. Unfortunately, they have had to go through the kind of loss we are talking about. And these owners/managers will tell you that it is too late to do anything once a serious accident happens. They now know that prevention is the only real way to avoid this loss. Reducing all losses is a goal that we as owners/managers clearly share with our pursuit of OSHA Compliance. Each of us may see this goal in a slightly different light, but it remains our common intent. We certainly place a high value on the health and well-being of your employees and like many small businesses we probably employ family members and personal acquaintances. On the other hand we probably don’t know our employees before they are hired, so the chances are good that the very size of our workgroup and workplace will promote the closeness and concern for one another that small businesses should value. Assuming that our commitment to safe and healthful work practices is a given ingredient, we all want to prevent all losses. We should believe that when we make job safety and health a real part of our everyday operations, we cannot lose in the long run. Successful safety and health activity now will enable us to avoid possible losses in the future. Developing a Profitable Strategy for Handling Occupational Safety and Health Many people confuse the idea of “accidents” with the notion of acts of God. The difference is clear. Floods and tornadoes cannot be prevented by the owner or manager of a small business. But workplace accidents can be prevented and I believe that ALL WORKPLACE ACCIDENTS ARE PREVENTABLE! Nobody wants accidents to happen in his or her business. A serious fire or the death of an employee or an owner can cause the loss of a great amount of profit or, in some cases, even an entire business. To prevent such losses, We don’t have to turn your place upside down. We may not have to spend a lot of money either. We may only need to use good business sense and to apply recognized prevention principles. There are reasons why accidents happen. Something goes wrong somewhere. It may take some thought, and maybe the help of friends or other trained people, to figure out what went wrong, but there will be a cause—a reason why. Once we know the cause, it is possible to prevent that accident. We need some basic facts and perhaps some help from others who know some of the answers already. We also need a plan—a plan for preventing accidents. Not all danger at our worksite depends on an accident to cause harm, of course. Worker exposure to toxic chemicals or harmful levels of noise or other elements may happen in conjunction with routine work as well as by accident. With that said, here is one way to start a Plan for Workplace Safety using a 4 Step Program for Workplace Safety and OSHA Compliance. Rest assured that I will always recommend that you to check out your own state’s Department of Labor’s Regulations before you institute or update your plan but just to get ourselves in the right frame of mind for 2011 Here We Go!

January 2011 Employment Practices Liability Insurance and the impact it can have on any business. (Con’t) The key word here is allege. Even a claim that you think may not have merit may force an employer to put their attorney on the clock. We all know what that means! $$$ In many cases, your attorney that help you get set up in business, reviews contacts, etc. may not have the experience or expertise to advise and defend you in an alleged employment related claim. There are attorneys that specialize in this significant sector of the law. These can provided through this type of insurance. So what is an employer to do? Many companies recognize their employment practices liability risk and reduce their chances of suffering a loss by implementing risk mitigation practices such as having written policies banning discrimination and harassment and have HR policies and procedures in place and provide training programs to help prevent losses. If an employer were to own an Employment Practices Liability policy many of the insurance companies selling the policy will have tapes, cd's and other educational material to help institute these policies. Many provide boilerplate type guides so you can set up yourself. Talk with your insurance agent and discuss this coverage with him/ her. Find out which insurance companies can provide assistance in implementing these types of controls. With proper risk management controls in place the cost of this type of insurance can be less expensive. Different levels of liability, defense costs and deductibles can help in determining what the best value is for your company. You'd never dream of leaving your company's assets exposed to loss from fire, theft, flood so why risk losing them as a result of an employment related claim. Steve Carraway Cooper Insurance Services, Inc. 1-800-252-3153

Building Your Business The Plan and Our Goals We all know and recognize that we need a safety and health protection plan. It is not a difficult task to develop such a plan. Basically, we only need to concern ourselves with those types of accidents and health hazard exposures that could happen in our workplace. Because each workplace is different, your program may be different from one that your neighbor or your competitor might use. But this is not important. What is important is that you want it to reflect your way of doing business, not theirs. While the details may vary, there are four basic elements that are always found in workplaces with a good accident prevention program. They are: 1. The manager or management team leads the way, especially by setting policy, assigning and supporting responsibility, setting an example, and involving employees. – Management Commitment 2. The worksite is continually analyzed to identify all hazards and potential hazards. Worksite Analysis 3. Methods for preventing or controlling existing or potential hazards are put in place and maintained. Hazard Prevention and Control 4. Managers, supervisors and employees are trained to understand and deal with worksite hazards. Regardless of the size of your business, you should use each of these elements to prevent workplace accidents and possible injuries and illnesses. Training for Employees, Supervisor’s and Managers. A Four-Point Workplace Program As you go through this part and those that follow, I encourage you to use the action plan form that fits your business the best. Your State OSHA site is filled with information on how to develop one or where to get help. Of course many of you may say we only have 3 guys or 5 employees and OSHA usually regulates companies with 9 or more. Well, that is not the point, the point is this: Workplace Safety Plans reduce accidents! Simply having a written plan is not enough and I am not advocating that you spend a lot of time developing something you won’t use. I am speaking from experience that a Workplace Program works! Let me explain before we go to the 4 Step Plan. We all know about Worker’s Comp Insurance and the EMR (Experience Modifier Rate) which tells the company that insures us what they can expect in regards to exposure to accidents from our company if they decide to insure us. An EMR of 1 is a baseline for figuring our premium which pretty much dictates we are at ground zero on how much we’ll pay. Having installed playgrounds for over 13 years without an accident, I know how much one little mishap can effect what we pay in premiums. For years our EMR was .97 which got us a small discount. Then after one accident involving one of my employees being injured by getting his thumb caught on a trailer hitch while another person was unloading the Skid Steer, my rate jumped 1.19 which I am here to tell you makes a huge difference in my WC Premium. So believe me when I tell you that a little dedicated time each week with Tool Box Talks or 7 Minute Safety Trainers goes a long way in raising Safety Awareness and getting that EMR back down under 1. At the very least you need a Policy and Procedures Manual updated annually with a quarterly safety meeting with Top Management (my opinion). On to the good stuff! Using the Four-Point Program Point One: Management Commitment and Employee Involvement. As the owner or manager of a small business, our attitude toward job safety and health will be reflected by our employees. If we are not interested in preventing employee injury and illness, nobody else is likely to be. At all times, we should demonstrate our personal concern for employee safety and health and the priority we place on them in your workplace. Our policy must be clearly set. Only we can show its importance through our own actions. We should demonstrate to our employees the depth of our commitment by involving them in planning and carrying out our efforts. If we seriously involve our employees in identifying and resolving safety and health problems, they will commit their unique insights and energy to helping achieve the objectives of our program. Consider forming a joint employee-management safety committee. This can assist us in starting a program and will help maintain interest in the program once it is operating. Committees can be an excellent way of communicating safety and health information. If you have just a few employees, consider rotating them so that all can have an active part in the safety and health programming.

January 2011 Why Sponsor the NPCAI Social?

With money very tight this year we wanted to provide the benefits to you of social sponsorship! NPCAI has created sponsorship packages to meet almost all budget sizes. These premium packages are loaded with additional value-added exposure that helps to make your sponsorship investment even more visible. NPCAI invites you to consider sponsorship of an NPCAI Social. event as an essential component of your 2011 marketing plans. Consider these five reasons of how sponsorship can help to achieve your marketing goals: 1. Enhance company image – Sponsoring an NRPA event or program that appeals to your target audience can help to shape buying attitudes and generate a positive reaction. 2. Heighten visibility – Sponsorship of an NRPA event or program will generate heightened visibility not only at the event, but will also earn you considerable visibility beyond the event. 3. Differentiating from competitors The mere act of sponsoring an event or program is a significant way to create competitor differentiation. Your company name has the opportunity to stand out head and shoulders above the competition. 4. Helping with good "Corporate Citizen" role - Sponsorship allows companies to be viewed as a "good neighbor." To be seen supporting the park and recreation community is extremely powerful and creates enormous goodwill. 5. Increase booth traffic - Sponsorship can also be a powerful promotion and sales tool. Research by The Center for Exhibition Industry Research (CIER) indicates that exhibitors who use sponsorships can effectively increase booth traffic by more than 35 per cent.

Building Your Business The men and women who work for us are among the most valuable assets we have. Their safety, health and goodwill are essential to the success of our business. Having them cooperate with us in protecting their safety and health not only helps to keep them healthy—it makes our job easier. As a small business employer, we have inherent advantages, such as close contact with our employees, a specific acquaintance with the problems of the whole business, and usually a low worker turnover. Hopefully we have already developed a personal relationship of loyalty and cooperation that can be built up very easily. These advantages may not only increase your concern for your employees but also may make it easier to get their help. Using the Four-Point Program Point Two: Worksite Analysis It is our responsibility to know what we have in our workplace that could hurt our workers. Worksite analysis is a group of processes that helps you make sure that you know what you need to keep your workers safe. You may need help in getting started with these processes. You can call on your state’s Bureau of Consultative Services or Dept. of labor for this help. Point Three: Hazard Prevention and Control Once you know what your hazards and potential hazards are, you are ready to put in place the systems that prevent or control those hazards. Your state consultant can help you do this. Whenever possible, you will want to eliminate those hazards. Sometimes that can be done through a different way of doing things or through engineering controls that can be built in. When you cannot eliminate hazards, systems should be set up to control them. Point Four: Training for Employees, Supervisors and Managers An effective accident prevention program requires proper job performance from everyone in the workplace. As an owner or manager, you must ensure that all employees know about the materials and equipment they work with, what known hazards are in the operation, and how you are controlling the hazards. Each employee needs to know the following: • No employee is expected to undertake a job until he or she has received job instructions on how to do it properly and has been authorized to perform that job. • No employee should undertake a job that appears unsafe. You may be able to combine safety and health training with other training that you do, depending upon the kinds of potential and existing hazards that you have. With training, the “proof is in the pudding” in that the result that you want is all employees knowing what they need to know to keep themselves and their fellow workers safe and healthy. Documenting Your Activities – If It’s Not Documented It’s Not Been Done! Document your activities in all elements of the four-point workplace program. Essential records, including those legally required for workers’ compensation, insurance audits and government inspections, must be maintained as long as the actual need exists. Keeping records of your activities, such as policy statements, training sessions for management and employee’s safety and health meetings held, information distributed to employees, and medical arrangements made, is greatly encouraged. Maintaining essential records also will aid the demonstration of sound business management as supporting proof for credit applications, for showing “good faith” in reducing any proposed penalties from OSH inspections, for insurance audits and others; and the efficient review of your current safety and health activities for better control of your operations and to plan improvements. Decide to Start Now The time to start your safety and health program is now. You have a better picture of what constitutes a good safety and health program. Now you can address the practical concerns of putting these elements together and coming up with a program to suit your workplace. Presumably you have been taking notes for your action plan as you went through the preceding description of the four-point program. You should be ready now to decide exactly what you want to accomplish and to determine what steps are necessary to achieve your goals. Then you will plan how and when each step will be done and who will do it. Your plan should consider your company’s immediate needs and provide for ongoing, long lasting worker protection. Once your plan is designed, it is important to follow through and use it in the workplace. You will then have a program to anticipate, identify and eliminate conditions or practices that could result in injuries and illnesses. If you have difficulty in deciding where to begin, a hone call to the OSH Bureau of Consultative services ill get you the assistance you need. A state consultant will survey your workplace for existing or potential hazards. Then, if you request it, he or she will determine what you need to make your safety and health to develop your program yourself, there are other publications similar to this one that spell out in greater detail the steps you can take to create an effective safety and health program for your workplace. The rewards for your efforts will be a workplace with a high level of efficiency and productivity and a low level of loss and injury.

January 2011 Benefits Available to Members! Making us

The NPCAI offers many benefits to its members. Such benefits include

• NPCAI embossed membership certificate.

• NPCAI membership card • A monthly E-zine • Free Listing on the Online • • • • • • • • • • • • •

Directory Free Website Listing RFP Listing Free Access to over 200 forms. Aflac Discount Program General Liability Insurance Program Free copy of the Playground Magazine. Free Classifieds Your company information is given out to any interested individual seeking your services $100 savings on the Playground Construction School. Errors & Omissions Insurance Coverage Annual NPCAI Social Event Sponsorship Opportunities Qualified Contractor Credentials.

Building Your Business program for your workplace. The rewards for your efforts will be a workplace with a high level of efficiency and productivity and a low level of loss and injury. Designating Responsibility You must decide who at your company, is the most appropriate person to manage your safety and health program. Who can be sure that the program will become an integral part of the business? In many cases it will be the owner. Sometimes it will be the crew leader(s), a manager or a key supervisor. It could even be a personnel specialist or other staff member. You should choose someone who is as committed to workplace safety and health as you are, who has the time to devote to developing and managing the program, and who is willing to take on the responsibility and accountability that goes with operating an effective program. The success of your program hinges on the success of the individual you choose, and he or she cannot succeed without your full cooperation and support. Remember, though, that even when you appoint someone as your safety manager and delegate the authority to manage the program, the ultimate responsibility for safety and health in your workplace rests on you. Having made your selection of a safety and health manager, you or your designee and any others you choose will need to take (or be sure you have already taken) the following actions. Get Some Help on the Details First, you may need to catch up with all the changes made since the OSH Act became law in December 1970. For example, the federal law contains provisions for allowing a state to develop and operate its own occupational safety and health program in place of the federal program. Please refer to your own state’s OHSA Law’s to ensure you head in the right direction!

Here’s Wishing You a SAFE and HAPPY New Year 2011!

Roger Davis – CPSI President – Playground Safety Services, Inc. With a Special Thanks to: A Guide to OSHA for Small Businesses in North Carolina N.C. Department of Labor Division of Occupational Safety and Health Used with Permission 1/5/2009 www.

Most Important NPCAI will support you every step of the way. The Implications to the Playground Owner of the ASTM F1292 The latest revision of the ASTM F1292 standard was published in September of 2009 by the American Society for Testing Materials and the impact for the playground installer and owner are significant. Although the manufacturer, installer and owner have always been responsible for the performance of the playground surface, the accountability, written requirements and ability to test for conformance are clearly stated. Failure to comply with the provisions of the ASTM F1292 is placing children at risk, inviting liability and on the accessible route an ADA complaint. The US Justice Department, ADA Standards for Accessible Design, requires that playground surfaces on the accessible route be tested using the test methods of the ASTM F1292, the US CPSC in their Public Playground Safety Handbook state that ASTM F1292 is the recognized test for playground surfacing. Only by understanding the requirements of the ADA and CPSC Public Playground Safety Handbook with regard to performance of the surface and ASTM F1292-09 for the test procedures can the playground stakeholders take the steps to protect themselves. This will involve the development of policies, procedures, documentation and compliance testing of surfaces at the time of installation and during the life of the installation.

January 2011

Building Your Business The Implications to the Playground Owner of the ASTM F1292 (con’t)

NPCAI Calendar of Events

March 23-25, 2011 Chicago, IL Playground Construction School November 1-4, 2011 NRPA Congress & Exposition Atlanta, GA November 3, 2011 NPCAI Social Event, Atlanta, GA Now Seeking Sponsors! November TBD 2011 Tampa, FL Playground Construction School.

New Members! • A & D Construction Services, Inc. • Landscapes Plus, LLC. • Premier Outdoor Installations, Inc. • Ralph Doe, CPSI • Total Recreation Products, Inc. • USP Alabama, LLC.

Most playground installers are lulled by the precision manufacturing and durable nature of playground structures and do not realize the variations in materials and the dynamic changes that occur to the playground surface during and after installation. The ASTM F1292 clearly states in section 6.1 that “The purpose of this specification is to establish minimum impact attenuation requirements for playground surfaces in order to reduce the risk of severe head injury from falls”. All surface systems must be tested in accordance with the performance requirements in 4.3 (the traditional 3 temperature laboratory test). This clearly will include not only synthetic or unitary systems, but all systems such as sand, pea gravel and wood systems. Even though it is not traditional, any supplier of a surface should be able to provide test results that support their claim that they can be utilized as a playground surface. Failure to require test certificates of all suppliers is the first mistake the playground owner will make. An additional requirement will be for the owner/operator to stipulate the drop height for the surface and this can be any height above the fall height of the structures, but not below this fall height. Additionally the owner has the option to stipulate the allowable Gmax and HIC for the installed surface provided it is more stringent than the Gmax≤200 and HIC ≤1000. Failure to require these could well result is a premature failure of the surface to meet the Standard, resulting in costly replacement or maintenance. The third and most devastating mistake will be the installation of a surface that does not meet the contractual obligations for the installation. The compliance to Standard or Contract documents can only be established through field testing to ASTM F1292. Should this occur, one can only hope that the playground installation contractor has not been paid for the work and the expensive repairs and remedial work with be performed by them or another installer at no cost to the owner. In addition problem associated with a surface failure for the playground owner will be to secure the site from use until the appropriate repairs can be made. The prudent owner/operator will know that surfacing is dynamic and will only get worse in performance rather than better. As a result they will not want to have a surface system that meets the minimum performance or have a fall height that is the minimum required by the CSA Z614-98, ASTM F1487 or the CPSC Guide. This owner/operator will read in sections 4.4.1 to 4.4.3 and 19 to “carry forth the impact tests at the drop height, as specified by the initial owner/ operator. They will also realize that they are required to keep the surface in compliance with the ASTM F1292 standard. Since this owner has these obligations and is paying the bill, they will probably use the cost effective and accurate free fall test method in the ASTM F1292 standard for the first time, to confirm that the terms of the contract have been met prior to paying for the installation. For the playground stakeholders that have been around they will be familiar with the 3 temperature laboratory test (24, 72, and 1200F) and might assume that the field test is done within this temperature range. Fourth mistake! Section 19 allows for the field test to be performed at ambient temperature. This may present a particular problem at and below 240F or on a hot day above 120oF. A surface that fails to meet the requirements of the F1292 Standards is a failure of the ADA, the CPSC and could likely kill a child. The opportunity to test in freezing temperatures suggests to owners that unless their surface meets the Standard at these temperatures, they should find a way to take the playground out of service for these times. For the installer it becomes critical that they state the temperature limitations of their surfaces in their warranties so as not to be required to pay for expensive fencing during shut downs. Functional longevity is the most important aspect of the playground surface for the owner and the most appropriate way of ensure this is to have a comprehensive warranty for a minimum of 5 years for compliance to ASTM F1292. The owner must remember that the legal requirements of the ADA for the full time and years that the playground open to public use. Additionally and to ensure continued compliance, the warranty must clearly state the obligation of the supplier/installer from the point of view of payment for any and all repairs or owner might find themselves being out of pocket. As a result the cautious playground stackholder will put a plan into place that consists of the following; • Make sure you have a certificate of confirmation that the surface system has a critical height at least as great as or greater than the drop height stipulated by the owner/ operator.

January 2011

Building Your Business

Mark your Calendar Upcoming Play Industry Events & CPSI Courses

The Implications to the Playground Owner of the ASTM F1292 (con’t)

January. 23 - 26 , 2011 Alabama Recreation and Parks Association Conference Location: Tuscaloosa, AL Contact:

January 30 - February 1, 2011 Louisiana Recreation and Park Association Annual Conference Location: New Iberia, LA Contact:

January 30 – February 4, 2011 The Park and Recreation Maintenance Management School. The Maintenance Management School is a two-year professional development program for park and recreation personnel. Location: Wheeling, WV Contact: (800) 624-6988 February 1, 2011 KRPA Conference and Trade Show Location: Wichita, KS Contact: February 6, 2011 US Play Coalition Conference on the Value of Play Location: Clemson, SC Contact: conf2011.php

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Make sure you have a certificate of confirmation that the surface system has a critical height at least as great as or greater than the drop height stipulated by the owner/ operator. Where the contract stipulated performance for the g-max or HIC is less than the maximums of the standard, make sure that the surface system meets this requirement with field testing. Make sure the surface system supplier or manufacturer provides installation procedures that allow the installer to meet the performance of the test certificates where the surface is installed by a contractor other than the manufacture. Arrange for a test as provided in the ASTM F1292 standard for verification of compliance. Make sure the contract document clearly states the drop height for any testing that will be performed and know that the CSA Z614-98, ASTM F1487 and CPSC Guide will provide the minimum. Make sure that temperature constraints of the surface system are clearly stated in the contract documents. Develop the ability to provide a system of closing a playground should this be a requirement of your client. Provide for a minimum 5 year warranty for conformance with ASTM F1292

A careful read of the ASTM F1292 will provide all parties to the installation of the playground and playground surface system with the ability to protect themselves within the terms of the standard . With a Special Thanks to: ASTM and submitted by: Rolf Huber Canadian Playground Advisory, Inc. 1-416-410-7506


February 16-18, 2011 National Playground Safety Institute (CPSI Courses) Pensacola, FL Contact: 1-850-878-3221 February 28-March 2, 2011 National Playground Safety Institute (CPSI Courses) McAllen, TX Contact: 1-512-267-5550

The Climbing Wall Association, Inc. is pleased to announce that registration for the 2011 Climbing Wall Summit is open to members and the general public. The conference will take place in Boulder, Colorado, May 12-15, 2011. CWA members can take advantage of a significant discount for conference registration. Conference registration rates for early and regular registration are in line with last year's prices. The early bird registration period will close February 18, 2011. The conference committee is still accepting workshop proposals for the conference. In the past, workshops have included discussions on business development, marketing, risk management, as well as hands-on workshops focusing on route setting, workplace safety, climbing instruction and other relevant topics. If you are interested in presenting a workshop or leading a compelling round table discussion, please download a proposal form here: http:// For more information contact: William Zimmermann at Climbing Wall Association at or call him at 1-720-838-8284.

March 8-10, 2011 National Playground Safety Institute (CPSI Courses) Sacramento, CA Contact: 1-916-665-2777 March 9-11, 2011 National Playground Safety Institute (CPSI Courses) Mercer Island, WA. Contact: 1-360-459-9396

The statement and opinions express in the foregoing articles are those of the author, and not those of NPCAI. Copyrighted © 2011. International Playground Contractors Association. The Playground Insider is a registered trademark owned by the International Playground Contractors Association. All rights reserved. This is members ezine.

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