Calls for better safety measures after rope swing accident

A woman undertaking a “rope swing”. (Instagram pic)

PETALING JAYA: Enthusiasts of extreme sports have been urged to inspect the licences of those operating extreme sports facilities, in the wake of an accident in Kuala Kubu Bahru in which a woman broke her back.

Siti Halijah Abd Rahim, 33, suffered a spinal fracture while undertaking a rope swing; the rope snapped and she smashed into a rock and fell into the river at the popular tourist destination.

The operator was reported to have been operating illegally without a licence from the district council.

Muhammad Rafique Rashid Ali, a lawyer, said extreme sports enthusiasts should ensure that operators of such facilities are fully licensed or at least have sufficient insurance coverage for clients.

The enthusiasts should insist that service providers or operators produce their operating licenses.

Public safety advocate Lee Lam Thye said operating procedures need to be reviewed. “But if SOPs exist, then a more frequent and systematic check at intervals must be practiced. Loading limits must be tightened,” he told FMT.

Safety audits must also be carried from time to time, he said, adding that safety has to be taken seriously as it involves extreme sports.

Another lawyer, Rajesh Nagarajan, questioned if regular checks had been carried out by authorities.

He also said service providers must offer insurance for clients to claim in case of a mishap. In advanced countries, even martial arts instructors were insured in case of accidents causing injuries.

The Selangor state government’s media outlet Selangorkini quoted state executive councillor Mohd Khairuddin Othman as saying that the Kuala Kubu Bharu “rope swing” operator had been operating illegally without a licence from the district council.

Khairuddin was further quoted as saying that the police had previously instructed the operator to shut down activities but they continued their operations until the Sept 27 incident.