Teenager Falls From Height at Rock Climbing Club

Teenager Falls From Height at Rock Climbing Club

Many of us go to climbing centres as a way to stay fit, have fun and socialise.

Rock climbing is also popular with children and teenagers. With proper supervision, climbing is an enjoyable and challenging experience for young people. Without proper supervision, the safety and protection of young people is at risk.

On the 8th March 2014 a 15-year-old girl fell seven and a half metres from a climbing wall sustaining deep muscle tissue damage, a bruised back, neck and internal organs. She was taking part in her fifth climbing session at the Harlow Centre for Outdoor Learning in Essex when she lost her footing and fell all the way to the floor as a result of inexperienced belaying.

“Belaying” is what climbers do in order to ensure they do not fall very far. There are a variety of different techniques where the rope runs through climbing protection fixed to the rock and down to a second person called the belayer. It is the belayer’s job to ensure there is friction on the climbing rope so that their climbing partner cannot fall from height. If a climbing partner is significantly heavier than the belayer, climbers set up anchors. Anchors prevent the belayer from taking off from the ground when the climber falls.

At the Harlow Centre for Outdoor Learning in Essex, the 15 year old girl was partnered with an eight-year-old child. As you would expect, there was a significant weight difference between the two, yet they did not employ an anchor. The belayer was inexperienced, having only attended three previous climbing sessions and never having used this particular belaying device before.

The safety failings do not end there. The Health and Safety Executive investigation discovered that the instructor didn’t have a site-specific assessment, nor did she have the required climbing training needed in order to run a progressive climbing club session. Plus, there were no safety knots applied that could’ve prevented the girl from falling to the ground.

Essex Outdoors (Essex County Council) was hit with a £10,000 fine and ordered to pay £2,599 in costs for breaching the Health and Safety at Work Act.

The Personal Injury Lawyers at Claims Direct deal with falling from height compensation claims on a No Win, No Fee basis.

If you or a family member has fallen from height through no fault of your own you can claim compensation for your injuries to help pay for rehabilitation costs, cover any loss of earnings and redress the pain and suffering you’ve felt.

Call Claims Direct 24/7 on freephone 0800 884 0321 or start your claim online and we will review your claim at no cost to you.