Company fined after child’s head trapped in electric gate at Pedmore school

Company fined after child’s head trapped in electric gate at Pedmore school

Company fined after child’s head trapped in electric gate at Pedmore school

First published in News

A COMPANY has been fined £3,300 after a child's head was trapped in an electric gate installed at a Pedmore school.

The eight-year-old boy was left with significant bruising to his head and ear after he was trapped between the edge of the closing gate and the gate post at Pedmore Primary School on September 25, 2012.

His father, who witnessed the incident, tried desperately to hold the gate to stop it closing further and managed to pulled it open enough to release his son’s head.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found the entrance gate at the school had been automated by Access Control Solutions (UK) Ltd but the Leicester based company, had failed to fit suitable guarding.

A hearing was held at Dudley Magistrates Court today (Thursday July 10), where the company pleaded guilty to breaching regulation 18 of the Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992 and was fined £3,300 and ordered to pay £773 court costs.

The boy's father said: “I had gone to collect him from the after school activity club and he ran towards the gate, which was still open. I told him to stop and wait for me and as he did I saw the gate was closing and was touching his shoulders.

"Realising the danger I leapt to the gate but by then it was on his head and he was screaming. I was pulling it with all my strength. It nearly beat me but managed to pull it enough to get his head out.

“It shook the whole family. My son talks about it now and again. He thinks it was his fault, that he did something wrong. That upsets me as much as the incident itself.”

HSE inspector Sarah Palfreyman added: “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 a particularly vulnerable group - young children."

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