Parks & Recreation Department Uses Electronic Inspections to Keep City's 61 Playgrounds Clean, Safe and Enjoyable
By Susan Schrock, Office of Communication
Posted on November 22, 2019, November 22, 2019

The department’s certified safety playground inspector checks 416 individual pieces of playground equipment and play surface areas for maintenance and repair issues that can range from a rusty swing set chain to the need for additional weed control.

Recently, Parks and Recreation tapped into technology to make these playground inspections more efficient and to allow the inspector to assign maintenance and repairs tasks immediately while still in the field. Using a hand-held tablet, the inspector now enters data as well as supporting photos and videos of equipment conditions directly into the department’s operations management system, powered by Cartegraph OMS. This process allows an automated notice about any equipment that has failed inspection or other unsafe playground conditions are immediately sent to Parks staff to be addressed in a timely manner.

Previously, the inspector would write inspection notes and scores by hand on a printed inspection template for each playground and take photos using a cellphone camera to be uploaded online later. After completing all inspections for the month, the inspector would then use the handwritten inspection templates to transcribe the inspection scores and results into an Excel spreadsheet. The hand written pages would be given to the inspector’s supervisor for review, and then filed into a paper file system.

The department’s switch to electronic inspections has reduced the total time to complete and review playground inspections by 30 percent and has created more time for the inspector to complete necessary maintenance to keep these public play areas safe, clean and enjoyable for the community.

To ensure the safety of our youngest residents, the Arlington Parks and Recreation Department performs thorough playground inspections monthly at each of the City’s 61 playgrounds.

Put Technology to Work, Data in Action
News, Parks & Recreation