We have been asked this a couple of times; so we thought we’d put our thoughts on the matter down here.
Firstly, there are a couple of myths about playground standards. You can read more about the main ones which apply to play equipment elsewhere on our site, but essentially there are 3 which concern us most
- EN71 – residential play equipment
- EN1176 – commercial play equipment
- EN117 – playground surfacing
Before the UK joined the EU we had British Standards (the old BSxxx) but over time we have harmonised them with the European ones so the standards are the same across the EU. Given that many of the largest commercial playground suppliers selling in the UK come from continental Europe, that’s quite sensible.
So despite some of the shouty (and usually factually incorrect) headlines along the lines of “Interfering Brussels beaurocrats force closure of much loved children’s playground” – the standards will not be torn up when the UK leaves. In fact, with the safety of children at stake, we think the last thing you need is some unregulated market where cowboy suppliers can sell what they like.
Many non EU countries follow the EN standards and there are Standards Bodies which are supra EU. If UK companies want to continue selling in the EU, then we will have to follow these standards anyway. So anyone hoping for a bonfire of regulations and standards is going to be disappointed. For the sake of our kids, we are quite please about that.