A Leicester firm has been ordered to pay more than £3,300 after a boy was injured on an unguarded electric gate.
Dudley Magistrates’ Court heard the eight-year-old’s head became trapped in the gate, automated by Access Control Solutions (UK) Ltd, in September 2012.
Guarding had not been fitted to the gate
The boy’s father managed to pull the gate open to free his son’s head, the court was told, but he suffered significant bruising to the right side of his head and ear.
An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) discovered that the gate at Pedmore Primary School did not have the adequate guarding in place.
It found the company who automated the gate, but had not manufactured it, identified that guarding was needed but that the unexpected style would not fit, thus it remained unfitted.
Access Control Solutions pleaded guilty to breaching workplace health and safety regulations and was fined £3,300 and ordered to pay £773 in costs.
After the hearing HSE inspector Sarah Palfreyman described it as an “extremely traumatic event” for the boy and his father.
She said the boy was away from school for a matter of days and has not suffered any long-term effects.
She pointed out that the outcome could have been very different had he been trapped by a different part of his head, or if the event had involved a younger child.
She added that the incident was “entirely preventable” as the company should have come up with an alternative guarding solution or delayed the work until adequate grading could be found.
She said this was especially the case as the job was being carried out at an entrance that would be used by a “particularly vulnerable group – young children”.
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Source: BBC News
Date Published: July 12, 2014
Author: David Brown