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Employer not at fault for street light injury to child

Posted: 5th October 2011   In: Business Employment, Individual Employment

The need for employers to have the correct legal and training procedures in place was shown in a recent case in which a child was injured as she walked under a street light.

The accident happened as the light was being repaired. The workman detached the reflector to inspect it but it fell just as a mother and her two-year-old daughter were passing underneath.

The reflector struck the little girl, who suffered a cut that required stitches.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) carried out an investigation which found that the accident was entirely preventable. Temporary barriers should have been used to cordon off the work area around the lamp. 

There were no such barriers, but the HSE found that no blame could be attached to the employer because the employee “had been properly trained by his employer to carry out this kind of work safely”.

The HSE took no action against the employer but prosecuted the workman who was fined £2,250 and ordered to pay costs.

HSE Inspector Zameer Bhunnoo said: “Individual employees must realise that they face criminal prosecution by the HSE if they show a reckless disregard for health and safety, putting others at serious risk.”

Please contact us if you would like more information about the issues raised in this article.