One young child suffered an accident claim when a sculpture fell near the playground where he was playing football.
The five year old, who remains unnamed to protect his identity, was playing some footy with friends in January of last year when he suffered his injury claims. A Nungate Wheel sculpture located directly adjacent to the Harrington playground was the source of the boy’s personal injury claim.
Erected in 2000 by the local council, the sculpture fell and landed squarely on the young boy’s foot. The heavy 81 kilogram stone sculpture fractured several bones in the boy’s foot. As a result of his injuries, the child spent an overnight in hospital. Additionally he needed to be fitted with a plaster cast while the bones of his foot healed.
The Health and Safety Executive conducted an investigation into the incident. The HSE found that the sculpture’s collapse had been due to a fatigue fracture that had compromised the structural integrity of the entire art installation. The HSE also discovered that the council neglected to provide for regular inspections and maintenance of the large, heavy sculpture.
The HSE prosecuted the council for breaching the 1974 Health and Safety at Work Act. The council entered a guilty plea, and the court assigned a fine of £6,000.
One HSE spokesman commented on the all-too-avoidable nature of the case. The spokesperson stated that incidents such as what occurred are only preventable in the event that councils institute proper safety procedures. If a system for the safe installation, repair, and inspection of such heavy structures had been in place, the spokesperson added, the young boy’s injuries could have been completely avoided.
It is unknown at this time whether the family of the injured child intend to file a personal injury compensation case against the council.