SCHOOL HEALTH & SAFETY | Huge fine after minibus death


SCHOOL HEALTH & SAFETY | Huge fine after minibus death

A council has indicated it broke Health & Safety law.

This was after a 15-year-old was fatally struck by a school minibus.

The comprehensive school pupil collided with the minibus as he ran to catch a bus home. The incident occurred on a road inside the school’s gates.

The PE teacher who drove the minibus is not being prosecuted but the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) brought a case against Bridgend County Borough Council. 

Health & Safety at Work Act

The local authority is charged under section 3(1) of the Health & Safety at Work etc Act 1974. Section 3(1) says every employer must carry out their activities in ways, which as far as ‘reasonably practicable’, do not expose non-employees to Health & Safety risks.

The matter has been sent to crown court with a hearing set for 17 September. 

The council faces a huge fine. If the court finds its ‘culpability’ (degree of fault) is ‘medium’, the starting point for the fine will be £1.3m. If culpability is felt to be ‘high’, the starting point will be £2.4m.

£ 0
Minimum fine with 'high culpability'

Accident waiting to happen

Concerns had been raised about safety at the school before the incident. A regular bus driver has said it was an ‘accident waiting to happen’.

The pupil’s family say they want to see speed limits on school property made enforceable. The 5mph limit inside the school’s gates is not enforceable by law as it is private land.

“Protecting your staff, pupils and contractors doesn’t start at the school door – it’s way before that. Schools need to be able to control and assess risks as soon as people enter the site and the safe management of vehicles is one key consideration”
Nick Wilson, Ellis Whittam Director of Health & Safety Services
Nick Wilson
Director of Health & Safety Services

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