Request A Quote

News Post

23/02/2021

PUB BOSS LANDS SUSPENDED SENTENCE OVER UNSAFE PLAY EQUIPMENT

A publican has been handed a suspended prison sentence after a boy sustained head injuries when he fell from an inflatable slide (pictured above).

Andrew Rockliffe ran the Bristol Inn in Clevedon, North Somerset, from February 2016 and in that year bought a bouncy castle for use by customers, which was put on a level area of ground in the terraced beer garden.

In 2018 he added two further pieces of inflatable play equipment – a low-level assault course and an inflatable slide.

The 51-year-old failed to ensure the slide was safe to use, Bristol Crown Court was told. The risk assessment was inadequate, the precautions on the ground were inadequate and the equipment was defective.

In August of that year an eight-year-old boy did a somersault at the top of the slide. He overbalanced and fell to the ground and sustained a fractured skull.

Investigators found a catalogue of health and safety omissions by Rockliffe, including failing to ensure that electrical cables were adequately protected to prevent access or trips; failing to put in place suitable matting that catered for the risk of a fall from height; failing to ensure that the play equipment was a sufficient distance away from unprotected areas such as steps and fencing; and failing to make sure that daily safety checks were adequate.

North Somerset Council prosecuted the pub boss, who pleaded guilty to breaching section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act.

He was given a 10-month prison sentence, suspended for 18 months. He was also ordered to carry out 120 hours of unpaid work and pay a £140 victim surcharge. He has since left the pub industry.

'Health and safety regulations are there to ensure the public can have confidence that equipment such as these inflatables in a pub garden are safe,' said North Somerset Council's deputy leader Cllr Mike Bell after sentencing. 'Sadly the omissions by the man running this establishment led to a young boy suffering serious head injuries. Although he has recovered it is uncertain whether he will need further medical treatment in the future. 

'The guilty plea shows that Mr Rockliffe has taken responsibility for his lack of action and I understand that he is no longer in the pub industry.

'I would like to thank all those who investigated this incident and brought the successful prosecution. It serves as a warning to all that precautions put in place must be adequate.'

Our Blog

Latest News

Noise at Work- Updated guidance

Controlling noise at work (L108): updated edition published The HSE has updated its buidance on The Control of Noise at Work Regulations 2005. Many people are exposed to noise levels at work that may be harmful, leading to permanent and incura..

The History of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974

What is the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974? The Health and Safety Executive, a UK government agency with the statutory duties of encouraging, regulating and enforcing workplace health, safety and welfare, describes the Act as ‘the primary p..

Why Is Health and Safety Important in the Workplace?

The COVID-19 pandemic has heightened the importance of health and safety in the workplace, with 71% of surveyed UK employees having admitted to feeling unsafe when working. However, the risk of COVID transmission is hardly the only one for which empl..

Police Scotland Plead Guilty to breach of Health and Safety at Work Act 1974

Police Scotland have admitted their failings "materially contributed" to the death of a young mother who lay undiscovered in a crashed car with her partner for three days. The force on Tuesday pleaded guilty to health and safety failings..

What Do Health and Safety Consultants Do?

As determined by a House of Lord’s judgement in 1932, organisations have a duty of care to the health and safety of their employees and direct customers, as well as other people who could be affected by the organisation.  ..

Hospitality Covid Guidance: Everything You Need to Know

The UK’s hospitality sector has been hit severely by the COVID-19 pandemic, having lost a mammoth £80.6bn of sales from the start of April 2020 to the end of March 2021, as the UKHospitality Quarterly Tracker with research firm CGA&n..

Benefits Of Health And Safety Training In The Workplace

We all know that workplace safety is important. Without it, workplace injuries happen, and employees can get seriously hurt. Negligence and ignorance are dangerous in any setting but especially in a work environment. For businesses, these dangers, an..

How To Develop An Effective Health And Safety Management System

Businesses and organisations that employ five or more individuals have a legal requirement to look after them and put in place adequate employee safety practices.  While health and safety is one thing, the implementation of a system requires ..

Your Guide To Food Health & Safety

Food safety is an umbrella term that encompasses all practices that food businesses must adhere to in order to make sure that food is fit to eat, including subcategories such as food hygiene. Making sure that your food premises have good food he..

Understanding the Purpose and Process of Health & Safety Audits

Here at SMS Europe, we have a range of different Health & Safety Audits to suit all types of businesses. A Health & Safety Audit can assist you in understanding where your business is in terms of its Health and Safety management. You can..

Builder goes to jail for failing to report an incident where a worker was seriously injured

A builder has been imprisoned for 24 weeks after he failed to report a serious incident at a construction site he was in charge of. Westminster Magistrates’ Court heard that on 8 January 2019, worker Simon Lewis had been clearing a site on C..

Health and Safety Executive inspections focus on occupational lung disease

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is inspecting fabricated metal businesses across Great Britain to check that they are managing the respiratory risks of welding fumes and metalworking fluids. From today, World Asthma Day 2021, health and safe..