Florida Senate - 2016 SB 406 By Senator Sobel 33-00406-16 2016406__ 1 A bill to be entitled 2 An act relating to playground safety; providing a 3 short title; creating s. 501.927, F.S.; defining 4 terms; requiring certain new and existing playgrounds 5 to comply with specified safety standards and 6 guidelines; requiring safety inspections of certain 7 playgrounds by a certain date; requiring counties and 8 municipalities to provide a link to certain playground 9 safety information on their websites; authorizing 10 counties and municipalities to require permits and 11 charge fees for the construction or renovation of 12 certain playgrounds; prohibiting the use of state 13 funds for constructing or retrofitting a playground 14 unless the playground meets certain safety 15 requirements; prohibiting the appropriation of state 16 funds after a specific date to operate, maintain, or 17 supervise playgrounds that do not meet certain safety 18 requirements; providing an effective date. 19 20 WHEREAS, the United States Consumer Product Safety 21 Commission estimates that more than 200,000 children each year 22 are injured severely enough on playgrounds to necessitate a trip 23 to a hospital, and 24 WHEREAS, the United States Consumer Product Safety 25 Commission also estimates that between 5 and 15 children die 26 each year as a result of dangerous or defective playgrounds, and 27 WHEREAS, each year, children are injured or killed as a 28 result of playground hazards, such as sharp edges, hot surfaces 29 and surfacing, hard surfacing material, impacts from 30 protrusions, poorly maintained equipment, or from head 31 entrapments and entanglements, and 32 WHEREAS, other states have playground safety laws, but 33 there are currently no playground safety laws in this state to 34 prevent these tragedies, and 35 WHEREAS, the Legislature intends that playgrounds that are 36 open to the public in this state be safe for children and, 37 therefore, must comply with national playground safety standards 38 and guidelines, NOW, THEREFORE, 39 40 Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida: 41 42 Section 1. This act may be cited as the “Playground Safety 43 Act.” 44 Section 2. Section 501.927, Florida Statutes, is created to 45 read: 46 501.927 Playground safety.— 47 (1) DEFINITIONS.—As used in this section, the term: 48 (a) “Certified playground safety inspector” means an 49 individual who successfully completes the program requirements 50 of the National Recreation and Park Association for 51 certification as a playground safety inspector. 52 (b) “Park” means all public and private property 53 specifically designated as being used for recreational purposes 54 where children regularly congregate. 55 (c) “Playground” means an indoor or outdoor area designated 56 for children which has one or more nonmechanized structures, 57 including swings, seesaws, stationary spring-mounted features, 58 rider-propelled merry-go-rounds, climbers, slides, and surfacing 59 material. The term does not include improved outdoor or indoor 60 areas intended for use as athletic playing fields or courts. 61 (d) “Playground safety standards and guidelines” means the 62 ASTM International playground safety standard specifications 63 F1292, F1487, F1918, and F2049 and the playground safety 64 guidelines published in the Public Playground Safety Handbook, 65 Publication No. 325, November 2010 edition, by the United States 66 Consumer Product Safety Commission. 67 (e) “Public agency” means a state or a county, 68 municipality, special district, or other political subdivision. 69 (f) “Public playground owner” means an entity that owns or 70 operates a playground, including a subdivision, park, school, 71 apartment complex, hotel, motel, resort, campground, office, 72 hospital, shopping center, child care facility, homeowners’ 73 association, or restaurant. The term does not include a foster 74 home, group home, or family day care home. 75 (2) COMPLIANCE WITH SAFETY STANDARDS AND GUIDELINES.— 76 (a) Playgrounds that are open to the public and are built 77 or installed on or after July 1, 2017, by a public agency or a 78 public playground owner must conform to the playground safety 79 standards and guidelines. 80 (b) Playgrounds that are open to the public and are built 81 or installed before July 1, 2017, by a public agency or a public 82 playground owner must conform to the playground safety standards 83 and guidelines by July 1, 2022. 84 (c) By July 1, 2018, each playground that is open to the 85 public and owned or operated by a public agency or public 86 playground owner must undergo an initial inspection by a 87 certified playground safety inspector. A written report of the 88 findings of the initial safety inspection may serve as a 89 reference for the public agency or public playground owner for 90 whom the report was written and is not intended for any other 91 purpose. 92 (d) By July 1, 2017, each county and municipality must 93 provide an electronic link to the playground safety standards 94 and guidelines on its website page that provides information on 95 building permits and applications. 96 (3) FUNDING.— 97 (a) A county or municipality may require a building permit 98 from each public playground owner who constructs a new 99 playground or constructs a major modification or addition to, or 100 replacement of, an existing playground. The county or 101 municipality may charge a reasonable fee for such permit. 102 (b) A public agency may not use state funds for the 103 planning, development, or redevelopment costs of a playground 104 that is open to the public unless the playground, when 105 constructed or installed, complies with the playground safety 106 standards and guidelines. A public agency that has received 107 state funds for a playground project before July 1, 2017, but 108 has not expended the funds must retrofit the design of the 109 project to comply with the playground safety standards and 110 guidelines, unless doing so would significantly increase the 111 project costs. 112 (c) After the date that a public agency is required to meet 113 the playground safety standards and guidelines, it may not use 114 state funds to operate, maintain, or supervise a playground open 115 to the public unless the playground meets the playground safety 116 standards and guidelines. 117 Section 3. This act shall take effect January 1, 2017.