Dogged for months by reports of failure to monitor housing units for lead paint and other hazards, the New York City Housing Authority now stands accused of ignoring safety hazards in Harlem playgrounds after two children were injured by rusty equipment at the end of August, 2018.
Rust is one of the most significant health risks posed by faulty or poorly maintained playground equipment. Dangers of rust include:
- Compromise of the structural integrity of equipment
- Wearing down of metal, leading to sharp edges that pose laceration risks
- Damage to health caused by small children ingesting rust, or from rust entering the bloodstream through wounds
Activists are pressing the NYCHA to conduct full inspections of their parks, a minor thing to ask considering the potential repercussions of failing equipment. The NYCHA is responsible for approximately 800 parks across the City, meaning failing to insure proper maintenance of equipment puts thousands of children per day at risk.
Rust is not particularly difficult to inspect for. Trained personnel could quickly identify major risk factors to children, including rust, debris, and chipped paint. Once these problems are identified, addressing them might take more time, but the city could close certain equipment until it could be repaired.
In the meantime, parents who utilize public parks should be on the lookout for potential dangers, and should monitor their children’s playing environment. If your child has suffered a playground injury, it is important to recognize the possibility that deferred equipment maintenance may have been a factor. Please, consult with an experienced attorney regarding your case to make sure the park is properly evaluated for dangers and that proper documentation of any equipment irregularities takes place to help you make your case and get the compensation you are entitled to.