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Statement on Health and Safety at Work Act (1974) fine

Today (20 January) the London Borough of Tower Hamlets Council was fined £330,000 for breaching Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act (1974) relating to the death of five-year-old Alexia Walenkaki in Mile End Park Children’s Playground in 2015. The council will also pay £6,204.60 in costs and a £120 victim surcharge.

Alexia died on Friday 17 July 2015 as a result of a head injury which was caused when a rope suspended from a wooden post collapsed. The structure, installed by Free Play Design Ltd, used poplar wood instead of the oak specified. The council also failed to organise an annual inspection of the play equipment.

Will Tuckley, Chief Executive of Tower Hamlets Council, said: “We are deeply sorry for our part in Alexia’s death and our thoughts continue to be with her family. 

“Following Alexia’s death, we immediately made urgent safety checks of equipment at all council-run play facilities and have brought in a more rigorous system for inspecting and maintaining park play equipment. 

“Alexia should have been kept safe while using Mile End Park. No words can adequately express our regret that she was not.”

[ENDS]

Posted on Wednesday 20th January 2021