Bingo company fined £25,000 over barrier head injury

By on 17/01/2013 in News

Birmingham City Council's investigation into an unsecured security barrier at a Gala Bingo site in the city, which resulted in a serious head injury, has lead to a fine of £25,000 for Gala Leisure Limited.

In addition to the fine, the company was also ordered to pay the council £2,612 in costs at Birmingham Magistrate's Court today.  The company pleaded guilty to offences under the Health and Safety at Work Act (1974) and the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations (1999).

The verdict was given following an incident on 3 June 2011 when Mr Kenneth Compton, 80, was driving out of Gala Bingo, Kingsbury Road, Erdington, and was injured by an unsecured barrier that swung into his path.

The security barrier had not been secured properly and skimmed off the bonnet of the car, through the windscreen striking Mr Compton on the head.  This lead to a fractured eye socket, cuts and bruises.  Mr Compton, who was dropping off his wife at the bingo hall when the incident occurred, also suffered from dizzy spells long after the episode.

Cllr Barbara Dring, Chair of the Licensing and Public Protection Committee, said: “The failure to assess the risk and secure the barrier put members of the public at risk.  As a result of the company's irresponsible actions a person was hospitalised with serious head injuries.

“Gala Leisure Limited and other companies who use security barriers need to make sure that lessons are learned from this case, which could, as a worse case scenario, resulted in a death.”

Council officers working on the case also found that Gala Leisure Limited had failed to consider the security barriers in their risk assessments.

The report showed that at the time of the incident the barrier at the Erdington site was not secured with a padlock – although padlocks had been used until around February 2011.  The investigation also revealed that the padlocks may have rusted and been removed, but were not replaced.

Ends

For more media information contact Karen Blanchette on 0121 303 6969.

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