A Birmingham woman was ordered to pay £16,500 at Birmingham Crown Court today (6 November 2015), after pleading guilty to health and safety offences after a child fell from a first floor window.
Birmingham City Council brought a case against Suzanne Holmes, 62, of Buryfield Road, Solihull, who ran Munchkins Nursery, based at 72 Longmeadow Crescent, Shard End, after a two-year-old boy fell from the window on 23 September 2013.
Holmes, the Ofsted-registered operator of the private day nursery – who pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing – was prosecuted for failing to discharge her duties under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. She was fined £2,500 and ordered to pay costs of £14,000.
The boy had climbed into a toy cot in front of the window and onto a radiator cover to get on the window sill before he fell out of the open window. Two members of staff were present, but they were supervising children at the other end of the room and the window was not secured to prevent the boy from falling.
He fell 3.8m (12.5 feet) onto the hard slabs of the outside yard and landed feet first before hitting his head, suffering only minor physical injuries.
Cllr Barbara Dring, Chair of the city council’s Licensing and Public Protection Committee, said: “When parents take their children to a nursery, they reasonably expect their son or daughter will be safe in the nursery’s care and that no harm will come to them.
“This little boy is incredibly lucky not to have suffered more serious injuries after falling from a first floor window. Any business responsible for looking after children has a legal obligation to ensure any potential risks to their health and safety are identified, assessed, and have adequate controls in place to protect children in their care.
“This awful accident could have been prevented had some inexpensive window restrictors been fitted, or the windows closed in the room. Our officers will continue to take action where health and safety standards are not met – to help ensure incidents like this do not happen in future.”
Munchkins Nursery closed and ceased operation on 23 September 2013, following action taken by Ofsted.
Please note: A new business, Little Scallywags Day Nursery – which has no connection to Holmes or Munchkins Nursery – has been operating on this site since September 2014.
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