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Dangers revealed at school playgrounds

Posted at 10:37 PM, Dec 02, 2015
and last updated 2015-12-03 00:37:52-05

TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) -  Broken swings, insufficient surface material to soften the blow of a fall and bare metal that can cause burns.

Carlos Valdez is the new head of maintenance in the Sunnyside district. We walked through two playgrounds at Ocotillo and Rivera elementary schools to examine potential safety dangers revealed in an audit inspection conducted during the summer.

Cinder blocks used for bases on a field at Rivera -- deemed an immediate concern. The Trust Inspection report revealed more safety concerns.

Sharp edges or damaged equipment at Elvira -- Craycroft -- Esperanza. Broken and cracked swings at OCotillo and Rivera.

Concerns that showed up in the audit inspection -- but not reported in most of the the district's weekly inspection reports -- obtained by KGUN9.

Valdez says he's been aggressively tackling the hazards -- since the start of the school year.

And following through -- especially when hazards are ignored -- as were the cases at Liberty and Esperanza.

Custodians reported not enough sand under equipment -- as far back as August of 2014 -- but week after week -- the inspection reports show -- nothing was done.

We still found insufficient surface material -- under this playground equipment -- reported in the audit inspection.

But the playground areas with sand at both schools were no longer a problem.

Valdez says he believes the playgrounds are in fair condition -- and the district is improving training for the principals -- and the custodians -- to better spot -- and fix -- potential safety hazards.