Blackpool Council Fined Over ‘Horrific’ Claremont Park Swing Injuries

The Council Were Notified On Four Occasions That The Swing Was In Disrepair

28.10.2013

Dave Grimshaw, Press Officer | 0114 274 4397

Blackpool Council has been fined £20,000 after a boy suffered ‘horrific injuries’ when a park swing fell on him, causing a serious brain injury.

Jamie Jackson, 10, from Blackpool, suffered a fractured skull and brain injury when a swing’s suspension mechanism collapsed on him at Claremont Park in June 2011.

The swing consisted of a large tyre attached to a curved frame, suspended from a metal attachment of long steel chains.
 
The young boy was playing on the swing when the suspension gave way and hit him on the head with some force.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) said Blackpool council were told by the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents engineer that the swing needed urgent attention in March 2010 and in three further inspections as the suspension mechanism was not rotating correctly.

HSE inspector, Michael Mullen, said: “Jamie had suffered a potentially life-threatening head injury when playing at a park because Blackpool Council failed to act on information generated by its own health and safety management team.

“If the swing had received urgent attention as recommended, then the horrific injuries Jamie suffered could have been avoided.”

Blackpool Council leader Simon Blackburn said it accepted full responsibility for the event that led up to the accident and said the council, which pleaded guilty to a breach of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 was truly sorry for the accident.

Simon Blackburn, said: “We thought we had an inspection regime that would ensure faulty equipment was quickly replaced or repaired. Unfortunately, that was not the case and we accept full responsibility for the events that led to this accident.

“We have put an even more robust inspection regime in place to avoid this situation happening again.”

The HSE's investigation concluded that poor repair work carried out on the swing in 2009 was likely to have contributed to its deterioration, meaning the same issue was unlikely to occur on other similar swings.

If you or a loved one has suffered a Brain Injury and believe the council was at fault then you could be entitled claim compensation. Visit our Claims Against The Council page for more details or enquire online.