Swing accident in kindergarten: safety harness not fitted

Swing accident in kindergarten: safety harness not fitted

Two children, aged three and four, were sent to hospital in an accident at Roe Nursery School in Lunner, Akershus, on Wednesday.

The children were sitting on the bird's nest swing when the suspension went slack.

– Police Superintendent Heidi Stocksrud tells VG that it could be a bolt that came loose from a nut on a strap attachment.

According to the situation, the children who were discharged from the hospital are doing well. The municipality has checked other kindergarten reminders and found no errors.

Many who understand such things have pointed out to VG that the “bird's nest” on which children sit should not fall down even if the suspension fails.

Ground: A safety link is a thin chain next to a smoke mount. Photo: Helge Mikkelsen / V.G

Since 2017, there has been a need for security linkage in such swings. It is mounted between the link for the suspension and the main chain of the swing seat.

In the event of a critical break in the movable part of the swing suspension, the safety link holds the chain up so that the swing seat does not fall down.

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VG showed the general manager of Lekplassinspectoren Ole-Kristian Vick the pictures of the bird's nest hut at the kindergarten in Lünner:

  • A close-up of a failed fastener shows a thin safety link next to the suspension part.
  • In the photo of the chain hanging from the mount, the link hangs next to the main chain.

– Wiig tells VG that the suspension chain may appear to have a safety link attached to it, but is not attached to the suspension mounted on the top post.

– What would have happened if the chain of custody had been established as per regulations?

– Then when the bolt comes loose the seat will just drop a little, but not straight down to the ground.

Wike also mentions that the bolts on the suspension should not be loose.

– It should be fixed with a lock nut and should not go up by itself.

Fixed: The bolt that holds the chain to the swingarm is missing a nut. The object on the right is a speaker. Photo: Helge Mikkelsen / V.G

Wiig says safety chains aren't properly established unless two points are connected, but believes it's hard to say who's responsible.

– Error should have been detected during inspection. If I saw a loose link in a swing, I would at least mention that it should be fixed, says Wiig.

Safety Link: A safety link fitted correctly on the left of the picture – to ensure a possible fall from the main link to the swing. Picture taken from a bird's nest swing at Heia FUS Kindergarten in Lear. Photo: Frank Ertesvåg / VG

– Only exceptionally do we find playgrounds with zero defects. Most errors occur during the installation of devices.

– What do such errors lead to?

– In the worst case there is a risk of suffocation and fall injuries, says the head of the Playground Inspectorate.

Mayor: Harald Tyrdal out of kindergarten. Photo: Helge Mikkelsen / V.G

Eivinn Fjellhammer, property manager at Lünnar Municipality, says the swing has been around since 2011. When the top register was replaced in 2021, the swing was reassembled by the same supplier.

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– We have also seen the security link hanging there, VG tells Fjellhammer.

The municipality has been in contact with the supplier on Thursday, who says the swing has been set up according to the installation instructions.

– We need to check if the swing is installed correctly or if something happened after that. No fault was found during the test. This is unfortunate, says Fjellhammer.

Inspections are carried out by a municipal employee certified to make such observations.

ROA Kindergarten: The kindergarten is located in the center of Roa in the municipality of Lünner in Akershus. Photo: Helge Mikkelsen / V.G

As the nursery owner, the municipality is responsible for both annual core inspections and routine operational inspections.

The municipality of Lunnar has informed the police that the swing in question was last inspected on 28 July 2023. The next survey was to be conducted in July this year.

The Viji on Friday asked the Directorate of Social Security and Preparedness (DSB) whether a safety chain was required when attaching “bird's nest reminders” in nurseries and schools.

– It depends on when the product was manufactured and what standard it follows. Sports equipment has many requirements. Safety requirements for different product categories are specified in several standards, Answers Division Manager at DSB Mari Austad Grande.

Correction

In an earlier version of the case, the DSB was said to be the Directorate of Civil Preparedness. The correct name is Directorate of Social Security and Preparedness. The case was transferred on 3 June 2024 at 08.53.

He wrote that it is important that playground equipment is installed according to the manufacturer's instructions.

– It is important that the play equipment is maintained according to the manufacturer's instructions and that original parts are used where required by the manufacturer.

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Supervisory authority

The DSB is the professional and supervisory authority for playground equipment, and oversees that those installing playground equipment in public places follow the rules and are held accountable.

The directorate is already in talks with the police about investigations into the causes of the swing accident at Roa Kindergarten.

There are up to 45 places in the Kindergarten in the center of Rowe.

On Wednesday, the municipality checked similar defect-free swings in municipal kindergartens. But two swing racks were taken out of use due to wear and tear.

Police and the municipality are investigating what went wrong on Wednesday. None of the adults saw what happened, but police have questioned a witness who came forward a short time later.

Joshi Akinjide

Joshi Akinjide

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