A two-year-old boy suffered serious burns in the changing area of a leisure centre’s swimming pool, a court has heard.
Chelmsford Crown Court fined the centre’s operator £45,000 on Thursday, following the personal injury of serious burns sustained at Great Dunmow Leisure Centre, Essex, on February 18 last year.
The toddler slipped and fell on a recently cleaned drain cover as his father was walking him to the pool for his weekly swimming lesson.
The drain had been cleansed with a drain cleaner containing sodium hydroxide – a
highly corrosive chemical commonly known as caustic soda.
It burnt through the toddler’s swimming shorts and swim nappy, leaving him with third degree alkaline burns to his buttocks and right thigh.
He spent 10 days in hospital undergoing emergency medical treatment, including a skin graft.
Probe found safety faults causing these serious burns
An investigation into the personal injury by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) discovered that Leisure Connection Ltd had not organised a robust system of work for cleaning this kind of drain.
This system should have included easy-to-follow instructions on how the drains should be cleaned and established whose responsibility it was to clean drains.
The firm also neglected to properly assess its use of chemicals and give proper training on the use of them.
Leisure Connection Ltd, of Wyboston, Bedford, also paid £20,746 costs after admitting breaching Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.
Help is at hand
Personal injury claims for burns in any public place, such as a restaurant or leisure centre, should be covered by public liability insurance.
Accident Advice Helpline has specialist injury claim lawyers working on a no-win, no-fee* basis. To make such claims you must have been injured in the last three years, and the accident must have been somebody else’s fault.
Accident Advice Helpline offers offer free advice for claims for compensation via a 24-hour helpline on 0800 689 0500. Check out Accident Advice Helpline’s website, which also offers an informative blog.
Source: BBC News
Date Published: December 10, 2013
Author: David Brown