Tag Archives: Standards

Structural imbalance: Public good and the play equipment industry

Public good, industry, and providing for play

A ‘structural imbalance’  has been allowed to develop such that what constitutes public benefit in respect of  children and teenagers’ play has been distorted by an overly influential play equipment industry.   This article discusses industry, understood as commercial enterprise, and where decision-making about public benefit should be located.  It is argued that, currently and for too long, public benefit decisions about play provision have been dislodged from their proper location – for example, publicly accountable bodies- to be captured by sectional interests.  It is further argued that little blame attaches to industry, but that play provision providers have not fulfilled their responsibilities. Continue reading

Play provision inspections: flaws and errors

In this article Bernard Spiegal discusses the role, scope and authority of external play provision inspections.  The article is one of a number of papers, comments, blogs, presentations and articles being generated by members of The York Group. 

The York Group, comprising  Professor David Ball, Tim Gill, Harry Harbottle, Bernard Spiegal, has come together to contribute to thinking about risk and play equipment Standards.   The York Group will also be publishing jointly authored papers. 

Responsibility for the views expressed in this article is the author’s.   The article does, however, introduce some key lines of argument for the group, to be explored further in both its individual and joint papers.

Introduction

In the first article in this series – Play equipment standards: occasions of trespass – I argued that industry play equipment standards have been allowed to expand into territory not properly theirs, with damaging effect.   In making that case, I drew a distinction between what should be two distinct ‘territories’: one concerned with technical information and assessment – the legitimate purview of play equipment Standards; the other, the area where value-saturated judgments should hold sway, judgments to be made locally by the play provision provider.

In that article, I suggested that once the distinction was accepted there is a discussion to be had about where precisely the ‘boundary’ between the two territories should be drawn.  But the very notion of boundary is predicated on acceptance that there is territory available to be demarcated. I suspect there is some way to go before this is widely accepted. Continue reading

Play equipment standards: occasions of trespass

In this article Bernard Spiegal discusses the role, scope and authority of play equipment standards.  The article is one of a number of papers, comments, blogs, presentations and articles being generated by members of The York Group.

The York Group, comprising  Professor David Ball, Tim Gill, Harry Harbottle, Bernard Spiegal, has come together to contribute to thinking about risk and play equipment Standards.   The York Group will also be publishing jointly authored papers.

Responsibility for the views expressed in this article is the author’s.   The article does, however, introduce some key lines of argument for the group, to be explored further in both its individual and joint papers.

Standards: the strong distinction

The overarching purpose of this article is to initiate a process of emancipation.  To liberate occupied territory – the too large terrain that play equipment standards occupy – thereby freeing play providers to make their own judgments about where, in their provision[1], the balance between risk and benefit lies.

In what follows I want first to establish what I shall call a ‘strong distinction’, one that marks clearly conceptual distinctions in respect of the role, scope and authority of play equipment standards.  These distinctions have for too long been allowed to remain blurred and confused. Continue reading