Risk is OK – Courts decide
The benefit of healthy risk-taking outweigh the risks
Beales -v- The Scouts
In the recent case of Beales -v- The Scouts Assc the court was asked to
consider whether the Assc. were negligent in running a game which
involved the children jumping over a rope with a bag tied to the end.
The game was called "Break a leg" or "last man standing" and tested the
children's dexterity amongst other things. The claimant broke their
wrist when they fell awkwardly after being hit by the rope. The claimant
argued the game was dangerous and without mats or a proper risk
assessment should not have been played.
The court in rejecting those submissions held that the game had been
played for many years, the leaders were well qualified and experienced
in arranging the game and that overall and having a mind to the
compensation bill ( although not directly applicable because the
accident pre dated the bill) the game did involve some risk but it was
not in the interests of any child to sit at home and avoid risk. By
taking part in activities with risks, they are learning how to deal with
risk and danger in later life and of course risk often equates to fun
which should be in every child's life.
The Judge concluded the Scouts had acted reasonably by balancing
elements of risk with healthy activity and therefore the claim was