No charges over bouncy cas­tle crash

Central Otago Mirror - - NEWS -

WorkSafe New Zealand will not lay charges against the The Moor­ings Restau­rant af­ter an 8-year-old Hawea Flat boy was se­ri­ously in­jured on a bouncy cas­tle.

On Jan­uary 23 Ge­orge Crotty was flown to Dunedin Hospi­tal, suf­fered three brain bleeds and spent al­most seven weeks in hospi­tal af­ter a freak gust of wind lifted a large blow-up climb­ing wall and bouncy cas­tle at the restau­rant in Pisa Moor­ings.

Ge­orge was lifted into the air, slammed into a wall then found mo­tion­less on the con­crete.

In­ves­ti­ga­tions chief in­spec­tor Keith Ste­wart said ‘‘the in­ves­ti­ga­tion was ex­ten­sive and an im­prove­ment no­tice has been is­sued to the bouncy cas­tle owner’’.

An im­prove­ment no­tice may be is­sued when a labour in­spec­tor iden­ti­fies fail­ures in the workplace.

‘‘While the in­juries suf­fered by the vic­tim in this in­ci­dent were se­ri­ous, there was in­suf­fi­cient ev­i­dence to jus­tify any stronger en­force­ment ac­tion by WorkSafe.

‘‘How­ever, we have had dis­cus­sions with this and other bouncy cas­tle oper­a­tors in the area about their obli­ga­tions un­der the Health and Safety in Em­ploy­ment Act, par­tic­u­larly sec­tion 16 which re­quires people who con­trol places of work to take all prac­ti­ca­ble steps to en­sure that no haz­ard that is or arises in the place harms people in the vicin­ity of the place in­clud­ing people there solely for the pur­pose of re­cre­ation or leisure.

‘‘We have also dis­cussed with them the prac­ti­ca­ble steps they should fol­low in the Aus­tralian Stan­dard which is the ap­pli­ca­ble stan­dard for oper­a­tion of these de­vices in New Zealand,’’ he said.

The Moor­ings Restau­rant did not re­turn calls on the is­sue.

Re­cov­ered: Hawea Flat fam­ily Dave Crotty, He­len Best and 8-year-old Ge­orge, af­ter his re­cov­ery from a head in­jury sus­tained when­hewas blown from a bouncy cas­tle.

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