School Pupil Paralysed and School Fined

We all want the very best for our children; we want them to be successful, knowledgeable and clever as well as fit and healthy.

Kids at play

In order to do this we need to give them challenging environments where they can learn in safe situations; not only in the academic world but also in the physical ‘real’ world.

So we need to get the balance right; too safe and we run the risk of stifling them as human beings but, on the other hand, not being safe enough will result in unnecessary injuries or worse.

In the series “Sensible Health & Safety Management in Schools” the HSE state “Outdoor learning activities help pupils develop a greater understanding of a subject and help in developing their risk awareness”.  “Click here” to take you to those HSE web pages.

Unfortunately, as a society, we don’t always get this balance correct and in this case a school has been fined due to a swing which collapsed on a pupil.  In an instant the world became a very different place for the pupil and their family.  “Click here” to go the HSE update regarding the incident.

Talking generally, as we do not know all the factors leading up to the incident described above, all persons with responsibility for activity equipment should ensure that it is safe to use.  This must start with a risk assessment which, amongst other things, should identify an appropriate regime of inspection.  This regime must include pre-use checks to ensure that, on that specific date, the equipment is currently in a safe condition.

So, give them challenges but ensure that the equipment and the environment is maintained in an appropriately safe condition.