School Fined after Employee falls through Loft Hatch
A school in Somerset has been prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), after an employee suffered serious personal injury after falling through a loft hatch.
The school worker, who has not been named, was helping a colleague fold storage boxes in an attic space close to her office, at the Wells Cathedral School in Wells.
South Somerset and Mendip Magistrates’ Court was told that the attic could be accessed by both a door which was on the same level in the bursary and also via a ceiling hatch, located in the library.
As the unfortunate worker attempted to leave the attic by the door, she unintentionally stepped onto the loft hatch, which collapsed under her weight and sent her plummeting almost two and a half metres to the library floor below.
The school employee suffered a broken shoulder blade and a nasty head injury in the accident.
An investigation by the HSE revealed that the school had been aware of the risk posed by the loft hatch but had not taken any action to prevent an accident occurring.
Wells Cathedral School Ltd, of The Liberty, in Wells, was fined £7,700 and ordered to pay court costs totalling £2,172 after pleading guilty to a breach of the Health and Safety at Work Act, following a successful prosecution by the HSE.
Since the accident the school has had the loft hatch boarded up, to prevent any similar incidents happening again.