Injury Prevention Week: 2nd – 6th August
This week is Injury Prevention Week. Run by APIL, the Association for Personal Injury Lawyers, their campaign “goes back to basics on the issue of negligence and personal responsibility.”
Its focus this year is on helping people understand how they can prevent injury by educating them about where their responsibilities lie and who they are responsible for. APIL’s mission is for us all to take care of each other and to use simple common sense in our everyday lives.
Who are APIL?
According to APIL’s website, “The Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL) has been fighting for the rights of injured people for over 30 years. A not-for-profit campaign organisation, APIL’s 2,900 member lawyers (mainly solicitors, barristers and legal executives) are dedicated to protecting and enhancing access to justice, improving the services provided for victims of personal injury, and campaigning to change the law wherever appropriate. Over the years APIL has grown to become the leading, most respected organisation in this field, constantly working to promote and develop expertise in the practise of personal injury law, for the benefit of injured people.”
Jobling Gowler’s focus during Injury Prevention Week
At Jobling Gowler Solicitors – an APIL accredited personal injury practice – we are fortunate that our offices are located next to South Park, a wonderful recreational park, just a 5 minute walk away from Macclesfield town centre.
As Injury Prevention Week #IPWeek2021 coincides with the school summer holidays, we thought we would focus on playground safety, covering aspects of personal responsibility as well as the responsibilities of those managing the playgrounds.
The Benefits and Risks of Playgrounds
The school holiday period is well under way and all parents know just how important it is to allow their children let off steam and expend energy!
Playgrounds provide both physical challenges and mental stimulation. Their intrinsic element of risk can teach children how to behave safely and responsibly e.g by taking turns, watching out for others and being aware of their surroundings.
However, the safety of our children is paramount and this risk needs to be managed.
According to RoSPA, each year there are approximately 40,000 injuries to children on playgrounds which result in a visit to hospital.
The Responsibilities of Parents and Guardians – using our Common Sense
As parents and guardians, we play our part. We need to ensure that our children are:
- adequately supervised
- wearing appropriate clothing
- not “misusing” the equipment
Playground Providers and Managers play a Crucial Role
Playground providers and managers also need to ensure that playgrounds and their equipment meet certain safety standards, that play areas are inspected, risk assessments are carried out and that equipment is regularly maintained to ensure their safety.
Failure to do so may result in a negligence claim.
Negligence at its Worst
In 2015, a 5 year old school girl died when a rotting log swing fell on her. The coroner stated that this was due to “organisational failure and lack of accountability” by Tower Hamlets council. The swing had been fitted 4 years prior to the accident. Their failure to organise annual inspections of the playground and the use of a cheaper, unsuitable wood with a life span of just 3 years led to her death.
Lessons were learnt: urgent safety checks on all council run playgrounds were carried out and more rigorous inspection systems were introduced. The Council were ordered to pay a fine of over £330,000 plus costs.
But the little girl should have been kept safe.
For information on what to look out for in your local playground, click here for RoSPA’s Code of Practice for play areas.
Let’s play our part in Injury Prevention Week by looking out for one another and using our common sense.
Reporting an Issue in Cheshire East
To report an issue regarding grounds maintenance, including broken, faulty or worn playground equipment in one of the Cheshire East Council’s playgrounds, please click here and fill in the online form.
If you have been involved in an accident caused by the negligence of others, please do not hesitate to contact one of our Personal Injury Team on 01625 614 250.