Children’s Accidents

The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, Article 19, states that children have a right to protection from being hurt.

Ofsted is the government agency that inspects nurseries and schools and if you are looking for a nursery for your child ask the manager to see a copy of the most recent Ofsted report on the nursery. The quality of a nursery can deteriorate very quickly in a short period of time if there has been a change of ownership or management and therefore you do not wish to be given a report that is a number of years old because it may be long out of date.

In schools the vast majority of safety incidents that occur are due to a lack of proper supervision, therefore the child – assistant/teacher ratio is extremely important.

Child development experts advise that children need to have bumps and scrapes during play and it is an important way of the child gradually learning what is safe and what is not, and how children gradually take responsibility for their own safety.

Based on statistics of children attending NHS hospitals’ Accident & Emergency Departments more than 1 million children under the age of 15 suffer accidents around their homes each year, and the children’s age group that is most at risk of accidents at home is the 0-4 years old. Falling accidents are the most frequently recorded type of accident for 0-4 years age group, and accidents that happen in the kitchen and on stairs result in the most serious injuries.

Railway Accidents

The Office of Rail Regulation (ORR) is the Government agency that enforces safety laws for railways and the Health & Safety Executive is generally not directly involved in safety work for the railways.

ORR advises that Britain has one of the safest railways in Europe and that the overall level of passenger harm during the year 2011-2012 was the lowest level ever recorded.

It has been stated by ORR that it is still concerned for the safety of railway workers and contractors, especially railway trackside workers. Fatal injuries to railway workers and contractors peaked in 2004 when there were unfortunately 10 deaths. In the year 2011-2012 this was reduced to one fatality, however, this is still one fatal accident too many. ORR has commented that there is still an absence of work-activity risk assessments in the work done by railway trackside workers, and an over-reliance on data sheets in the mistaken belief that they are risk assessments.

Network Rail Infrastructure Limited has been prosecuted by ORR for breach of the Health & Safety at Work Act. For example, it prosecuted the company in relation to the train crash at a Network Rail construction site in Barrow upon Soar, Leicestershire after a tipper truck hit a footbridge over the railway. Leicester Crown Court heard that Network Rail had failed to carry out a construction site risk assessment. Network Rail pleaded guilty and was ordered to pay £112,000 in fines and costs.