Health & Safety

At the start of the month Edinburgh Sheriff Court sentenced the owner of a shop to pay £16,000 following its guilty plea for breaches of the Health and Safety at Work Act.

A tourist entered a Christmas shop in Edinburgh in 2009 and fell 3 feet through an unsecured trap door. As a result of the fall she fractured her ankle and required a number of operations.

The company had taken over the premises months before the fall and had been carrying out renovations to the property. Part of the renovations involved installing trap doors for access to the basement. On the day of the accident a member of staff forgot to shut the trap door resulting in the tourist falling into it.

This is a timely reminder of the consequences of carelessness in the workplace, and also for employers to carry out proper risk assessments where they have under floor access or storage.