Student injured after shackle failure on playground

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SafeWork SA is reminding businesses who own playground equipment to ensure that the equipment is regularly inspected and maintained.


In August 2021, SafeWork SA received notification of a serious incident involving a student at a school.

The student sustained serious facial injuries, requiring extensive surgery, after a ‘D’ shackle pin broke resulting in the student falling from a swing.

Preliminary investigations suggests:

  • The swing was supported by ‘D’ shackles at the top pivot point holding the chains to the rubber strap swing. One of the ‘D’ shackles had sheared at the pin section
  • The pivot point brass bush had worn out, allowing the pivot point and ‘D’ shackle pin to wear due to continuous metal on metal movement.
Worn pivot hole
Worn pivot hole
Broken 'D' shackle pin
Broken ‘D’ shackle pin

Controlling the risk

SafeWork SA reminds all owners and people with management or control of playground equipment to ensure it is maintained and inspected on a regular basis, to minimise any risk of injury.

Actions that can be taken include:

  • Comprehensive risk assessments be undertaken of all playground equipment.
  • Immediate inspection of all equipment.
  • Scheduled maintenance inspections by a competent person.
  • Refer to manufacturer’s recommendations for guidance on installation, maintenance and inspections.
  • Information, training and instruction are provided to workers to enable them to competently inspect and maintain playground equipment.