In 2016 an inflatable castle with a 3 year old inside became dislodged and airborne and tumbled due to a gust of wind. It travelled 50 metres, luckily the child only received minor injuries and was not at risk of being thrown from the castle as it had mesh sides and a padded ceiling.
The business had 9 casual employees who would erect the jumping castles, on this occasion only three anchorage points were installed, one was a sandbag. At the time of set up there was no wind.
The business breached the Work Health and Safety Act and was fined $1,591, the maximum penalty for this offence could have been $1.5million.
Why was the fine so small?
The Magistrate acknowledged that the business had researched the Australian Standards prior to purchasing the jumping castle from China, which came with no operations manual, so the Director developed one based on the Australian Standard. There were gaps in the manual around anchoring for varying wind conditions which led to only 3 of the 9 anchorages being used. Witnesses described the wind as a ‘freak gust’.
The company had not made a profit in the two years of operation and the device had been installed on at least 500 occasions previously without incident.