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School fined after civilian sustains fatal injury

20 April 2021

A SCHOOL has been fined after a member of public tripped over a retaining wall and sustained a fatal head injury.

Peterborough Magistrates’ Court heard how on 17 February 2017, a family member attended The Leys & St Faith’s Foundation School in Cambridge to watch an evening performance. While walking towards the hall the woman tripped over a small retaining wall and fell to the ground sustaining a serious head injury. She died six days later in hospital.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that The Leys & St Faith’s Foundation School had failed to ensure the area was adequately lit. A pedestrian site safety assessment failed to identify the risk of tripping over the wall and did not take into consideration the lighting conditions or potential effect of poor lighting on pedestrian safety at night. 

The Leys and St Faith’s Foundation School of Fenn Causeway, Trumpington Road, Cambridge pleaded guilty to breaching Section 3 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. They were fined of £52,800 and ordered to pay costs of £10,040. 

Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Graham Tompkins said, “This tragic incident was easily preventable, and the risk should have been identified.

“The school should have taken measures to improve lighting and install a handrail on top of the wall to increase the overall height.”