A schoolgirl has suffered serious injuries following a 5m fall down a lift shaft at Liberton High School in Edinburgh.
In a prosecution brought by the Health and safety Executive (HSE), Edinburgh Sheriff Court heard that Morgan Seaton, then aged 15, and three other pupils had become trapped in a lift halfway between the first and second floors.
Miss Seaton called the school office from her mobile phone, and teachers arrived to discover that the lower third of the lift was visible from the 1st floor lift doors.
One boy was lowered down to safety, but Miss Seaton’s escape attempt was poorly executed, and resulted in a stumble down the open lift shaft.
What was the Result?
Miss Seaton sustained three fractured vertebrae, bruising across her lower back, and a sprained wrist – requiring several months of physiotherapy.
The fire service discovered that the power to the lift had not been isolated, meaning that the lift may have begun to move at any time.
HSE discovered that the council had failed to provide staff with the proper training in dealing with such instances, and that a risk assessment had not been carried out.
City of Edinburgh Council pleaded guilty to breaching Section 3 of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974. The council was fined £8,000.
HSE Inspector Hazel Dobb commented:
“The teachers were well intentioned in their attempts to help, but had they received suitable information and guidance on how to deal with trapped people in lifts they would have called for help and not put pupils at such risk of injury.”
Personal injury claims – expert advice
If you think you may have been affected by a trip, slip or fall that was not your fault, and you would like expert advice on this type of case, contact Hampson Hughes Solicitors today on 0800 888 6888 or email email@example.com
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