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Expert Urges Councils To Act Following Sculpture Injury

Fine Issued Over Incident


Local authorities must take every necessary step to ensure they fully maintain any sculptures in public places, a public liability expert at Irwin Mitchell has demanded.

The call has come after East Lothian Council was fined £6,000 over an incident in January 2009 in which a five-year-old boy suffered multiple fractures when an 81kg sculpture close to a children’s play area in Haddington fell onto his foot.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive revealed that the council had not placed anyone in charge of maintaining sculptures in the area, while the item itself was found to be weakened by a fatigue fracture which developed over the years after its installation in 2000.

Elaine Russell, a Partner at Irwin Mitchell’s Glasgow office, said it is vital that all local authorities take note of this case.

She explained: “This terrible incident, which saw a young boy injured and led to a fine for the council, could have been avoided simply through the use of the correct safety measures.

“Sculptures in public places are often a key part of promoting culture in local areas, but this incident highlights clearly why they cannot be ignored once they are installed in parks or other spaces.

“I urge all local authorities to reassess the measures they have in place in relation to the maintenance of sculptures and take steps towards ensuring that no incidents of this kind happen again.”

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