A boy has received compensation after suffering a painful electric shock at a local leisure centre.
Harley Sutton-Dormer, now aged five, was electrocuted by a damaged hairdryer at Belhus Park Leisure Centre in 2010. The shock left him screaming in pain.
Fortunately for Harley, he was wearing a pair of plastic “Croc” shoes, which his mum believes prevented a worse injury.
Impulse Leisure, which owns the centre, pleaded guilty to two breaches of health and safety laws at Basildon Magistrates’ Court. The firm agreed to pay the boy £1,750 in compensation.
Harley’s mum Danielle Sutton, 27, was pleased with the outcome, which included fines and costs totalling £7,425.
She said: “Harley had nightmares after the incident, he wouldn’t go swimming again for about six months, yet we’ve never had a proper apology from Impulse, or a letter.
“I had to chase them to find out what was happening with the investigation all the time.
“I feel better now, but I think it is disgusting how we were treated.”
Harley suffered burn marks along his side and his clothes were singed after he grabbed the hairdryer in the changing rooms.
According to paramedics, the plastic shoes probably prevented the electric current coming out through his feet, which could have led to serious injury.
Impulse Leisure have issued two apologies to Ms Sutton, one by telephone and one by letter.
The company’s chief executive, Mike Baden, said: “Both parents were sent separate written apologies from me some months after the incident.
“The written apologies followed up from a verbal apology both in person to Mr Dormer, and on the telephone to Ms Sutton.
“The court agreed Impulse Leisure had an exemplary health and safety record.
“Misuse of the hairdryers over time had caused damage to the cable.
“It was unclear whether this damage would have been visible to visual inspection.
“It was, however, agreed the hairdryers were not sufficiently robust for the area in which they were installed and that our inspection regime was not robust enough for this type of hairdryer.
“Shortly after the incident this type of hairdryer was removed from the changing rooms.”
Mr Baden added: “We’re sorry this incident occurred and caused distress to Harley and his family.
“We are disappointed it occurred at all, as we take health and safety very seriously and spend many hours assessing risk and implementing systems to reduce the risk of accidents to staff and customers alike.”