Care Home Fatality

A care home business has been convicted of a health and safety charge following the death of an 80 year old resident, when a wardrobe fell on top of her in 2012.

The care home was found guilty by a jury of breaching the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974. Specifically, they failed to ensure that the ‘personal activity monitoring system’, designed to alert staff if the resident got up in the night, was working properly. They also failed to provide adequate training and information to staff about the monitors.

The judge directed the jury to enter a “not guilty” verdict on a second charge which involved not ensuring the wardrobe was secured to the wall. The care home had denied both charges.

Derby Crown Court heard that the monitors were unsafe and that the in-depth investigation undertaken by Amber Valley Borough Council officers had discovered evidence of a systematic failure in health and safety processes, contributing to the incident involving the resident. Another hearing is to be scheduled to determine sentencing.

Ellis Whittam has particular expertise in the Care sector. Please contact us to find out more about how we can help you stay compliant and minimise risk.

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