Independent Kimbolton School fined after employee’s fall from loft

KIMBOLTON School has been ordered to pay more than �8,000 in fines and prosecution costs after a teenager was injured when she fell from a loft space to the swimming pool changing rooms below.

Pool attendant Stacey Paine, 19, and the swimming pool manager were retrieving paperwork stored in a loft above the Kimbolton School changing rooms.

To reach the documents she walked along a beam of the unboarded loft but lost her footing. She fell two and a half metres on to the tiled floor below, narrowly missing a benched area, Huntingdonshire Magistrates were told today (Tuesday).

Stacey, from St Neots, suffered a fractured wrist in the fall on April 20 last year.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE), prosecuting, told the court in Huntingdon that independent Kimbolton School had not carried out a risk assessment for entering the loft and had failed to ensure that its staff did not work on or near a fragile surface.

After the hearing, HSE Inspector Stephen Faulkner said: “The outcome of this incident could have been very different. Falling from height, particularly onto such a hard surface, often results in severe injuries or even death.

“It is an employer’s duty to ensure the safety of all staff, and anyone working at height needs to be protected.

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“In this case, the documents could have been stored somewhere easier to reach and, if a simple risk assessment had been carried out, this would have been identified.

“I urge any organisation to consider where they store items including paperwork and how safe it is for an employee to access.”

Kimbolton School pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 9(1) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005 and was fined �6,000 and ordered to pay costs of �2,276.40.