Child was killed by weighing machine

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The Independent Online
A CORONER yesterday recommended changes to the way some upright weighing machines are made after a seven-year-old child was killed when one toppled over on top of him.

An inquest heard that Jhordan Stafford died as a result of a fractured skull after the accident at Macclesfield leisure centre, Cheshire, on Bonfire Night last year. He had been playing on the 65 kg scales when they fell, trapping him.

Recording a verdict of accidental death, Cheshire Coroner John Hibbert said he would recommend to the appropriate body that design changes be ordered to such machines so they can be secured, preventing them from falling over.

Brian Roebuck, an engineering investigator for the Health and Safety Executive, said tests showed the machine "could be pushed or pulled over sideways by a child of five years of age if not secured", adding that "there was no provision on the machine to secure it to the floor or wall".

Roger Livermore, an inspector for the HSE, said the machines had been in use in this country for 60 years and there had never been any previous fatalities. Guidelines would be issued to local authorities about such machines in due course, he added.

The family's solicitor said they intend to look into the possibility of civil proceedings.

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