Council prosecute company over windows safety failure

By on 28/10/2013 in News

Birmingham City Council has successfully prosecuted a care home company which failed to fit adequate safety catches on windows, allowing a vulnerable resident to fall and sustain life-threatening injuries.

Silver Leaf Caregroup Ltd was fined £60,000 at Birmingham Crown Court today (October 28). Sentencing relates to offences under Section 3 of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, and regulation 7 of the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999.

The incident involved Miss Kerry Insley – a vulnerable resident with learning disabilities – who in April 2011 was a resident at the Silver Leaf Caregroup Ltd care home in Scholars Close, Handsworth.

Miss Insley was able to jump from a two-storey window that did not have correct safety catches.  She suffered life-threatening injuries including broken bones and internal organ damage. Failure not to fit the right catches meant the windows were not restricted when opened.

The Health and Safety Manager at the Handsworth care home, at the time, was Naeem Sarwar. He was ordered to pay £20,000 in costs, given a 12 month Community Order and 150 hours unpaid work.

Mr Sarwar failed to take reasonable care of other people affected by his actions.  Paperwork showed that he had checked and approved the windows. He committed offences under Section 7 of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.

Cllr Barbara Dring, Chair of the Licensing and Public Protection Committee, said: “Bringing this prosecution to Crown Court is another example of how Birmingham City Council takes matters such as this very seriously.  This care home failed in their duty to ensure the safety of a vulnerable person in their and omitted to recognise that the window was not correctly restrained.

“It is critical that health and safety managers are competent in their role, as the welfare of people under their care is paramount. This incident would have been avoided if proper procedures were implemented.
“Hopefully this case will send a message out to those who run care homes and do not make the necessity and relevant checks needed.”

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

Notes to editor:

In addition to the £60,000 fine, Silver Leaf Caregroup Ltd has also paid £10,000 costs.

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