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AIBU about play park accident?

21 replies

GoldenKelpie · 15/06/2017 19:03

Just seen this on BBC about an accident suffered by a child at a playpark in Central Scotland.

The child was playing football at the play park and ran to get the ball, tripping over a grill put in place to keep dogs out. She got two bad cuts on her knee that required stitches

Now I accept that the grill was installed the wrong way round and the company didn't act to turn it round when parents complained. The residents did in fact move the grill to the correct side after the child's accident. However, what good is 'compensation' going to do now?

If families were familiar with the grill being the wrong way round then surely they would have told their children to be extra careful around the grill, or play elsewhere. If they didn't then I assume they didn't think it was that much of a problem, presumably.

We have the NHS to provide us with healthcare in the event of accidents or illness so the family do not need money for medical bills (unlike for example USA), so shouldn't they just accept an accident happened and move on?

Where does our personal responsibility start when allowing our children to play in pubic play areas unsupervised?

Should we complete a personal "risk assessment" before permitting our children to play in public play areas?

What are mumsnetters experiences about this?

OP posts:

Looneytune253 · 15/06/2017 19:11

I don't believe in this compensation culture. Fair enough if your life has been changed irreparably but not for minor injuries with no lasting effects. Parents should always be ultimately responsible but obv if this had been reported to the authorities it should have been dealt with. That needs to be addressed.


PurpleMinionMummy · 15/06/2017 19:15

Why should they just accept it? It was wrongly installed and not rectified when the appropriate people were informed. They should be held accountable.


CatsRidingRollercoasters · 15/06/2017 19:17

I agree with you. I hate this compensation culture. Fgs, this accident, while obviously very unpleasant, has in no way affected her future life.

The company should be apologising and reviewing what went wrong to stop it happening again etc. They could even make a donation to the A&E department that dealt with it, or fund some new play equipment or something.

But compensation for the family? Why? What financial loss have they suffered? Give me strength.


FlippingBottleFlippers · 15/06/2017 19:20

I live in a similar estate and pay the same managing factors a regular fee. I expect them to spend the money I pay to ensure that the play areas are safe and well maintained. I accept that as a parent it's my responsibility to look after my children but I also expect the company I pay to maintain a play park to do what they are contracted to do.


4yoniD · 15/06/2017 19:27

I partly agree with cats the company should rectify and apologize - but what if they refuse(d)? Maybe it's a different matter to consider sueing if the company refuse to engage?


PurpleMinionMummy · 15/06/2017 19:28

The cut went down to the bone. I imagine that's very distressing and painful, especially for a child and it was completely avoidable.

Compensation wise, replacement of ruined clothes, cost of parking, food for a parent etc if kept in hospital, parents potential loss of earnings if off work to look after her. They can't take away the scar she will be left with forever.


sirfredfredgeorge · 15/06/2017 19:41

The reason is so that the risk of not doing it properly has a financial risk associated with it. Otherwise, as in so many of these things, the company has strong motivation to not bother doing it properly and safely, they'll make more money being slap dash and the only come back is having to "apologise".

If however, everyone knows there's a financial penalty on the company, the company will want to minimise that risk. It's the capitalist method of ensuring health and safety - the alternative would be to ensure that there are always multiple layers of inspectors and penalties, which is less usually efficient and can run the risk of bribery, can work too of course.

Doing nothing, encourages the slap dash though, genuine financial (and criminal if it's particularly egregious) penalties encourage self review.


GoldenKelpie · 15/06/2017 19:44

I agree, Purple the incident would have been distressing to all concerned but that is the nature of life and it is only distressing the a wee while then we move on.

Distressing stuff happens all the time to people and parents should teach their children (a) be risk-aware when they are outside playing and (b) shit happens, get over it, move on. Scarred knees? You should see my scars from childhood accidentsShock, in those days you sucked it up and accepted what happened and were more careful next time Grin.

Looking at the bigger picture for a moment, are we doing our children a disservice in not teaching them resilience and the ability to assess risk in their daily lives?

I sometimes wonder if we are creating a population of kidults who cannot cope with the harsh realities of life Sad. Pandering to the compensation culture is a negative we shouldn't encourage. Sadly, I think it is too late.

OP posts:

Athome77 · 15/06/2017 19:53

I think that during a company makes that react/improve things more. If all they have to do is say 'sorry we will do better' they are less likely to improve things.


PurpleMinionMummy · 15/06/2017 19:55

I won't disagree that the compensation culture does go too far sometimes but this clearly a case of negligence. The company knew and did not to rectify the issue. Why should they be allowed off scott free? How will that teach a child resilience anyway? It is not the nature of life to end up injured through someone else's negligence and rightly so.

The child slipped/tripped and fell. Expecting a child to risk assess whether it's safe to run around in a park designed for kids to run around in is frankly a ridiculous notion.


EpoxyResin · 15/06/2017 19:59

If you're a business and you install something incorrectly thus making it dangerous - even disregarding the fact you were made aware of it and failed to rectify it - damn right you should pay when someone hurts themselves on it!


RebelRogue · 15/06/2017 20:03

Two points
1.Some companies only listen to financial reasons,that is financial loss. Even that is sometimes not enough,if settling out of court is cheaper than doing things right the first time.

2. Dunno if it's the case here,but even if medical care is free there can be associated costs like paying for parking/transport,food at hospital,loss of wages if a parent needs to be with the child etc.


GoldenKelpie · 15/06/2017 20:09

Purple, normally I would agree but in this case the residents had already identified a problem and were pursuing a solution with the company who installed the grill. Had there been an accident that was not foreseen, it would have been a different matter but the parents knew there was a problem in this case.

They should have advised their children to take care when playing in that area (or not play there at all until problem resolved), and always be aware of their surroundings when playing by the grill, to minimise their personal risk of injury should they fall.

That they didn't warn their children of added risk, or, that they did and their children chose to ignore them, is their responsibility.

OP posts:

RebelRogue · 15/06/2017 20:11

Two more points

Kid was 8, not necessarily an age where supervision is required to throw a ball around.

And it's the local park and the grandmother pays for it's maintenance. Why should the kid have to use a different park?
And i bet you'd be pretty pissed off if you paid for a service and it wasn't up to standards/dangerous. You'd probably at least want your money back.


RebelRogue · 15/06/2017 20:14

That they didn't warn their children of added risk, or, that they did and their children chose to ignore them, is their responsibility.

Oh ffs this is not someone that put their arm through the fence and got their arm bit off by a tiger.
It's a kid,playing as kids do,in a park designed for kids,a park that residents pay to have maintained.


ItsAllGoingToBeFine · 15/06/2017 20:15

The grille has been the wrong way round since 2010 despite people reporting it. The residents also pay a factoring charge for the maintenance and upkeep of things like the playpark to keep it safe

This is not a case of compensation culture, it's a case of a company installing an unsafe playpark and not giving a shit - hitting them in the wallet is the only thing that may make a difference.


PurpleMinionMummy · 15/06/2017 20:18

It was not the parents or child's responsibility. It was that of the company. They are ultimately responsible. Morally and legally.


ThanksMsMay · 15/06/2017 20:22

we can either force the hands of companies who wouldn't otherwise give a shit and who can afford to pay out when they've fucked up or we can slag off families for wanting a bit of a nest egg for their child after their kid has a pretty nasty injury


ThanksMsMay · 15/06/2017 20:23

Why do local councils fine people and companies? They've been told they're doing wrong, no need to demand compensation!


user1495025590 · 15/06/2017 20:29

Many organisations would not give a hoot about health and safety if it were not for the risk of being sued.I doubt the family will get much, but hopefully it will make the company more careful next time.


trufflecake · 15/06/2017 20:42

Agree with other posters.

They said it was an accident waiting to happen and they were right.

This whole saga just proves that sadly all too often appealing to someone's conscience results in nothing, but that a financial penalty will work wonders.

Compensation culture is merely a consqequence of untempered captialism and in cases like this is justifed IMO.

If the company just put it right becasue it was the right thing to do, there would be no problem, but would they? Nope, they wanted to save the money. What else can we do to fight back?

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