Tourist attraction fined for failing to report accidents

A popular tourist attraction in Halton East, North Yorkshire, has been fined £8,000 by Skipton magistrates for failing to report accidents involving children to Craven District Council, as reported by the Craven Herald.

Magistrates accepted that the ice cream vendor had admitted its failings at the first opportunity, had an internal reporting system in place and had since taken several steps to ensure that the lapse never happened again. However, bench chairman Anne Kay pointed out that swift action could have been taken following an injury had the accidents been reported in the proper manner.

If you operate a business where members of the public use the premises, it is always wise to look at your insurance coverage to protect yourself against claims in the event of an accident. A good public liability insurance policy will ensure your business is covered if someone injures themselves on your property and decides to seek compensation from you.

The court was told of four children that suffered injuries at the centre’s two play barns, with one child suffering multiple, complex fractures after jumping off some hay bales onto the hard ground, instead of soft mattresses. Another child reportedly fell off a rope swing and fractured her wrist. The other two children also suffered fractures as a direct result of accidents in the play barns.

Each of the children received first aid treatment at Billy Bob’s Ice Cream Parlour before being taken to hospitals in the area. The company noted the accidents in its own records, but didn’t follow the necessary procedures for reporting the incidents to Craven District Council, as stipulated by the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations (RIDDOR) statutory instrument.

According to the company, all employees were trained in first aid and in how to make RIDDOR reports in 2013, with an outside company providing training and another independent company carrying out six monthly health and safety checks on the business.

Tom Gilbart of Billy Bob’s Ice Cream Parlour said it was a single offence at the lowest level. The company, which Mr Gilbert says does not take a ‘cavalier’ attitude to health and safety, is run by Gary and Amanda Rogers and employees 100 people.