Teen’s freak camp accident with ropes leads to safety update
AN INVESTIGATION into a high ropes incident that left a boy critically injured at a hinterland camp facility has led to an update of the Australian Adventure Activity Standards.
During a school camp at Adventure Alternatives Woodford campus, Marist College Ashgrove student Connor Petterson became entangled in ropes.
He was flown to hospital in a critical condition with neck and head injuries and a collapsed lung.
The camp was suspended as a result of the incident on May 23 last year and the Year 9 students were sent home and offered counselling.
Founder of Adventure Alternatives Todd Samorowski issued a statement on Friday saying Workplace Health and Safety Queensland had concluded their investigation with no further action being taken.
He said through the company's own investigations, validated by an independent expert adviser, the use of equal length lanyards on the high ropes course was the cause of the incident.
"Adventure Alternatives has been working very closely with State and National Industry representatives and can confirm that the recent update of the Australian Adventure Activity Standards now includes technical specifications for use of only different length safety tails for self-belay high ropes courses," Mr Samorowski said.
"Adventure Alternatives has also held an industry workshop to assist in the education and implementation of these new Australian Adventure Activity Standards to prevent similar incidents occurring again."
Mr Samorowski said the company took safety seriously.
"We would like to reassure you that this incident has been taken very seriously and although was not foreseen at the time, now the industry has corrected it's procedures to ensure it never happens again," he said.
"We would like to personally thank the Petterson Family and the leadership team of Marist College for their unwavering support and ongoing understanding during this time. We would like to thank our full-time and casual staff for their commitment, perseverance and support."
Mr Samorowski previously described the incident as a "freak accident".
A college spokeswoman told News Corp that the 14-year-old boy returned to school in June last year.