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Company Prosecuted After Child’s Head Becomes Trapped in Electric Fence

Posted in: Head and Brain Injuries Public Liability 

A company have been prosecuted for failing to install an adequate safety guard on an electric gate that trapped a young boy at a primary school in Stourbridge.

The Court heard on 10 July 204, that the eight-year-old boy was injured when his head became trapped between the edge of the closing gate and the gate post. The boy suffered significant bruising to the right side of his head and to his ear.

The boy’s father witnessed the incident and tried to hold the gate to stop it closing any further. The boys father managed to pull the gate open far enough to release his son’s head.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigated the incident and found the entrance gate at Pedmore Primary School fitted by Access Control Solutions (UK) Ltd, had not been fitted with adequate safety guarding.

The company had identified the need for the guarding, but failed to fit it because the gate, manufactured by a different company, was not the exact style expected and the guarding would not fit.

Access Control Solutions (UK) Ltd, pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 18 of the Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992 and was fined £3,300 with £773 costs.

Sarah Palfreyman, HSE inspector said:

“This was an extremely traumatic event for the boy and his father. Fortunately, the youngster was back at school a couple of days later and he has not suffered any long term effects. However, it could have been a different story had he been trapped by a different part of his head, or had it happened to a younger child. The incident was entirely preventable. Access Control Solutions identified the need for the guard in their own job specification but when the gate arrived, it was not the type expected the guard did not fit. At this point they should have either come up with an alternative or postponed the job until the problem was rectified, especially as they were fully aware that the entrance would be used by [children].”

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