Playground Inspector Fined After Boy Is Seriously Injured
A playground inspector, Glynn Hughes, has been fined following a 7 year old boy sustaining life threatening injuries whilst playing at Cherry Lane Adventure playground in Crawley.
The child was playing on a rope swing, supervised by an adult, when part of the swing – a wooden pole – broke and hit the child on the head.
Worthing Magistrates’ Court heard that the boy suffered serious head injuries during the incident in April 2014 and was airlifted to hospital. The young child has since made a full recovery.
An investigation carried out by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that Mr Hughes had failed, during numerous inspections of the playground, to recognise that the wooden swing had begun to rot.
During an inspection carried out in 2013, Mr Hughes – a self-employed inspector accredited by the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (ROSPA), had described the condition of the rope swing as ‘excellent’. HSE’s investigation also found that Mr Hughes had raised concerns over the stability of the swing in a further inspection. However, he went on to declare the risk posed by the swing as ‘low’ just seven weeks before the incident took place.
Worthing magistrates heard the HSE decided that in this case, the rot had occurred over a fairly lengthy period of time, and was therefore foreseeable. HSE’s investigation found that the rot should have been identified by Mr Hughes and thus reported to Crawley Borough Council, the operators of Cherry Lane Adventure playground.
After pleading guilty to breaching Section 3(2) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974, Glynn Hughes of Walgrave Road, Old, Northamptonshire, was fined a total of £1,120 and ordered to pay £3,600 in costs.
Injury in a public place
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Source: Health & Safety Executive