Leicester Crown Court has fined a care home £100,000 and ordered to pay a further £35,000 in costs after pleading guilty to breaching section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974.
A Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation detailed how an elderly resident in a Leicester care home suffered burns four days after being admitted and died a few days later in hospital.
The elderly gentleman was admitted after a home assessment highlighted his risk of falling.
On the day of the incident the resident fell in his room and became trapped between a wardrobe and a radiator. The radiator pipes and valves were not covered and were leaking.
The gentleman suffered severe burns to his legs.
The court heard that despite the fact the management was aware the resident was at risk of falling, they failed to check on him or carry out an appropriate risk assessment.
After the case was heard, HSE Inspector Dr Richenda Dixon said:
“This was a foreseeable and preventable fatal incident. While most of the residents at [the care home] are physically disabled with limited mobility, [the resident] was not. He was more mobile, and known to be so, hence at greater danger from any risks in his room.”
“The scalding or burning risks from the pipes were longstanding and could have caused injury to any resident. [The care home] failed to heed published guidance from HSE about the need to cover hot pipes and valves. Had they been covered or boxed-in [the resident’s] death could have been prevented.”
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