Safety Signs News

Council fined after child injured by museum exhibit

8th September 2010 | Warning Signs

Posted by Ben Alexander.

Newcastle City Council has been fined £12,000 and ordered to pay costs of £7,733 after a five-year-old child was seriously injured by an installation at one of its museums.

The girl injured her hand when she put her it in the Floating on Air exhibit at Newcastle's Discovery Museum last August. An opening led to the moving blades of a fan which controlled air flow through the piece, but sadly it wasn't guarded, meaning the path to the rotating blades was clear.

At Newcastle Upon Tyne Magistrates' Court the council pleaded guilty to breaching Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, in a prosecution brought by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).

The HSE's investigation into the incident revealed no proper system was in place to make sure the exhibit was safe to use.

HSE inspector, Carol Forster, said: "The serious injuries that this young girl suffered could easily have been avoided.

"The Floating on Air exhibit had been in use for a number of years, yet the gap had not been fixed.

"The health and safety of members of the public, especially children, who use interactive exhibits in museums is very important."

Other measures, such as the installation of warning signs, could also have been put in place.


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