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Shenfield High School fined over caretaker injury after fall

PUBLISHED: 15:58 15 July 2011 | UPDATED: 16:27 15 July 2011

Shenfield High School

Shenfield High School

Archant

A school has been fined £6,500 after a caretaker fell from a height and broke ribs and an arm.

But Shenfield High School in Alexander Lane, Brentwood, will have to pay in total more than £8,700 including court costs as a result of the health and safety breaches.

Acting head teacher Liz Clarke said the penalty would have a detrimental impact on the pupils’ education.

Caretaker David Springett was injured recladding the outside of the kitchen at the school on July 28 last year.

Incident

The 54-year-old was working with a colleague on an unguarded work platform when he lost his footing and fell 1.9 metres to the ground.

He broke two ribs and needed a three-inch metal plate and multiple metal screws in a broken arm.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE), prosecuting, told Chelmsford Magistrates’ Court on July 12 that the school failed to take suitable and sufficient measures to prevent such an incident.

After the hearing, HSE inspector Corinne Godfrey said: “As falling from height often results in severe injury or death, the outcome of this incident could have been much worse.

“However, it could have been avoided altogether if an appropriate work platform had been provided by Mr Springett’s employers.

“The school has a duty to protect its staff and working at height brings with it risks they should be aware of, and protect against.”

Shenfield High School admitted breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974. In addition to the fine the school was ordered to pay costs of £2,243.85.

Ms Clarke said: “This all happened a year ago. Obviously we regret that it has happened. We’ve had lots of new procedures put in place to ensure there’s never any repeat.

“We’ve bought new equipment, new procedures and all the site team have been re-trained.”

She added: “The school budget is fully allocated so we’ll have to take it from somewhere else.

“It will have a direct impact on our students but we also have to take responsibility for our employees.”


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