London Council fined £200,000

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A London Council has been fined £200,000 for breaches of Health and safety legislation which resulted in a serious injury to a pupil.

This level of fine is likely to become common place following recent changes to sentencing guidelines. In this case the Local Authority was fined. In schools where the Local Authority is not the employer, the school itself is likely to be liable for breaches of legislation, and therefore prosecution under the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act. This is an uninsurable risk.

This case particularly highlights:

  • That teachers in higher risk areas of the curriculum (such as DT, Science and PE) must follow relevant guidance and make sure that risk assessments are in place. Risk assessments must be specific to your setting and cross referenced in your schemes of work. The controls that need to be in place must be communicated to staff and pupils.
  • Teachers must be properly trained in the use of high risk machinery
  • Machines and other equipment must be properly maintained
  • Correct guarding must be in place
  • Pupils must be shown how to use machinery and the associated guarding correctly

Please have reference to CLEAPPS and Association for PE guidance and model risk assessments. If you have any concerns regarding any activitiies that take place in your school and you are unable to source suitable guidance please contact the Occupational Safety Team for further advice.

Read the full HSE press release.


Published: 02/03/2017
Audience: All Head Teachers, Heads of DT in Secondary Schools, All Business Managers.
Contact: Adam Varley

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