The Federal Territories Ministry has adopted 12 new guidelines to improve safety in playgrounds, including encouraging greater parental supervision and installing guard rails.
These guidelines require playground equipment manufacturers, playground owners or operators, parents and children to play their part to make playgrounds safer.
Certified playground-safety inspector Noriah Mat said a budget of RM50,000 had been approved to review and conduct further research on playground safety.
The ministry had previously approved the FT Park Safety Policy on Sept 2, 2013 and it is implemented in the Federal Territories of Kuala Lumpur, Putrajaya and Labuan.
“A working committee will be formed, with members from the Department of Standards Malaysia, NGOs and experts from relevant fields.
“The committee will also work with three foreign experts from the International Playground Safety Institute to study whether the latest 2011 international standards can be adopted here,” said Noriah, who is a member of the committee.
The FT local authorities namely Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL), Putrajaya Corporation and Labuan Corporation have been asked to come up with an action plan for maintenance as well as the costs involved, and to appoint a safety manager for playgrounds.
According to statistics, DBKL receives an average of 30 to 40 complaints a year on playground safety and maintenance, the second highest after trees, and spends around RM4mil per year on maintenance and replacing damaged equipment.
The Labuan Corporation spends around RM300,000 a year to maintain 31 playgrounds in Labuan.
“Most playground-related injuries happen to children between the ages of five and nine years involving equipment like monkey bars, slides and see-saws,” said Noriah.
Currently, the 1Malaysia Maintenance Fund (TP1M), which is managed by Urban Wellbeing, Housing and Local Government Ministry is used to maintain common areas in stratified properties including repairing playgrounds.