Bouncy castle injuries ‘common’ says WorkSafe NZ in warning to parents after fatal Tasmanian accident
New Zealand’s workplace health and safety regulator has issued a warning to parents about bouncy castles after a freak accident killed six children in Tasmania.
And WorkSafe NZ reminded suppliers and operators it is their responsibility to eliminate or minimise risks to health and safety so far as reasonably practical, including requirements for safe use in windy conditions.
An investigation by Tasmanian police and health and safety officials continues into how the jumping castle at Hillcrest Primary School became untethered and flew 10 metres into the air last Thursday.
Tasmania also announced a ban on bouncy castles at state schools after the accident in the town of Devonport. The Department of Education Tasmania said the ban would remain in place until the investigation concluded.
After the tragedy, Aotearoa’s WorkSafe released a statement and said it knows Kiwi parents and caregivers will be now thinking about how to keep tamariki safe when hiring or using bouncy castles.
“These devices are widely available but consumers may not know the standards for safe use to check the device they’re hiring, and operator, are following good practice,” WorkSafe NZ said.
It added injuries are “common” on bouncy castles and can be serious.
In New Zealand, suppliers and operators of land-based inflatable (LBI) devices, such as bouncy castles, fall under the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015. WorkSafe NZ said this means they need to eliminate or minimise risks to health and safety so far as reasonably practical.
Suppliers and operators must show how LBIs comply with AS 3533, which sets requirements for use, including anchoring and safe use in windy conditions.
WorkSafe NZ said parents could keep their children safe by looking for the AS 3533 label, which is prominently displayed on LBIs from reputable manufacturers. They could also ask the supplier or operator about their practices and how it can be used safely.
In Tasmania, the investigation into the incident is ongoing and is a matter of priority for the coroner.
Police said they were speaking to witnesses who saw the tragedy but Tasmania Police Commissioner Darren Hine added the proceedings “would take some time”.
“The investigation is ongoing and police are preparing a report for the coroner with the support of WorkSafe Tasmania,” Hine said.
“I know this means you will have some questions that we are not able to answer as many details will be a matter for the coroner.”
– Additional reporting news.com.au
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