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.
   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,
   40  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   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.
   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.