Teen fall prompts safety review

13:00 17 January 2013

Some of those celebrating the New Year

Some of those celebrating the New Year's Eve celebrations in Exmouth took to the roof of the Octagon. Pictures submitted by Chris Hackett Ref exe Octagon NYE 02

Archant

Health and safety chiefs are considering how to prevent a repeat of a new year’s accident which saw a teenager suffer head injuries.

At close to midnight on New Year’s Eve, paramedics were called to treat a 18-year-old after the teenager fell off the roof of the Octagon ice cream kiosk on the seafront.

The building is an East Devon District Council-owned building which is sub-let and was closed at the time.

New year revellers had clambered on to its roof in an attempt to get a better view of the fireworks display.

A district council spokesman said: “We are very sorry to hear about this incident and hope that the person who fell makes a full and speedy recovery.

“As with any health and safety risk, there must be an element of common sense applied, and we would not wish to spoil anyone’s celebrations with heavy-handed tactics.

“However, we must be clear that The Octagon is private property and we do not accept liability for risks posed to anyone trespassing. It is not designed to have a lot of people on its roof, and that’s a real risk for people to keep in mind.”

He said that they were ‘carefully considering’ options for the future and measures may include warning signs or ‘practical’ measures to stop people from climbing the building.

He added: “There will be a practical limit on how much time and taxpayers’ money is put towards protecting people from themselves.

“We must keep a sense of proportion and we’d urge everyone to take responsibility for their own actions and apply basic common sense as they enjoy new years to come.”

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