High Ropes Investigation Concludes

Marist College Ashgrove (Facebook)

High Ropes Investigation Concludes

Investigation into high-ropes incident with schoolboy concludes

Posted on 01.11.2019

An investigation into a Queensland outdoor education company that was under scrutiny over an incident during a high-ropes course that left a boy critically injured last year has led to an update of the Australian Adventure Activity Standards.

Marist College Ashgrove boy Connor Petterson was airlifted to the Lady Cilento Children’s Hospital – now the Queensland Children’s Hospital – with a collapsed lung, among other injuries, after the incident during his school camp at Adventure Alternatives north-west of Brisbane.

After the incident on May 23, the camp near Woodford was cancelled immediately and the year 9 boys were offered counselling.

Connor, 14, was moved from intensive care to a ward one week later after showing signs of improvement.

Founder Todd Samorowski announced on Facebook that Workplace Health and Safety Queensland had concluded its investigation, with no further action being taken.

Mr Samorowski said Adventure Alternatives took safety very seriously.

“Through our investigation of the incident and further validated by our independent expert advisor, the use of equal-length safety tails (lanyards) for static self-belay high-ropes course was the causal factor of the entrapment,” he said.

Mr Samorowski said the Australian Adventure Activity Standards were updated to include technical specifications for use of only different-length safety tails for self-belay high-ropes courses.

He said the company had also held an industry workshop to educate and to implement the standards to “prevent similar incidents occurring again”.

“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 its procedures to ensure it never happens again,” he said.

Mr Samorowski thanked supporters, including the Petterson family and Marist College, for their “ongoing understanding during this time”.

Jocelyn Garcia
Brisbane Times



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