Page 12 - IOSH Magazine March 2019
P. 12


        Topshop owner fined after insecure

        queue barrier fractured girl’s skull

                                                              Prosecutor Fiscal Service   equipment between stores.”
                                                              (COPFS), which is responsible   The incident happened a
                                                              for bringing prosecutions in   week before a boy of ten was
                                                              Scotland, said its investigation   killed at another Topshop
                                                              found the company had not   store.
                                                              produced a safe system of work   Kaden Riddick sustained
                                                              for the transfer of two queue   fatal injuries when a queue
                                                              barriers from its Argyle Street   barrier fell on his head at the
                                                              branch to Silverburn.     Oracle Centre in Reading,
                                                                It had also failed to ensure   Berkshire, on 13 February 2017.
                                                              that the queue barriers were   The Crown Prosecution
                                                              properly fixed to the floor, in   Service and Thames Valley
                                                              accordance with fitting   Police announced on 31 January
         The queue barrier was not properly fixed to the floor   instructions, and maintained to   that Arcadia Group would not
                                                              prevent them toppling over.   face corporate manslaughter
                                                              “Consequently, they were both   charges over the incident
        Retail giant Arcadia Group has been                   insecure and a risk,” the COPFS   because “there is not a realistic
                                                                                        prospect” of conviction.
        fined £450,000 after a girl was seriously               Arcadia Group pleaded guilty   However, Reading Borough
        injured when a queue barrier fell on                  to breaching ss 3(1) and 33(1)  Council could still prosecute
                                                                                        the retailer in relation to safety
                                                              (a) of the Health and Safety at
        her at a Topshop store in Silverburn                  Work Act.                 and health offences.
                                                                                           Queue barriers have since
                                                                Alistair Duncan, the head of
        Shopping Centre, Glasgow.                             COPFS’s health and safety   been removed from more than
                                                              division, said: “This was a   400 Topshop stores, the BBC
        The ten year old sustained a   barrier, heard a scream and   foreseeable and avoidable   reported.
        fractured skull, subdural   turned around to see her   accident which resulted in the   Arcadia Group owns several
        haematoma and a laceration    daughter lying on the floor   severe injury and permanent   high street clothing retailers,
        in the incident on 7 February   with the barrier on top of her.   disfigurement of a young girl.   including Burton, Dorothy
        2017.                        Staff and shoppers removed   “Since this incident the   Perkins, Topman and Wallis.
          Glasgow Sheriff Court was   the barrier and the girl was   company has introduced new   It is majority-owned by Taveta
        told that the girl’s mother, who   taken to the Royal Hospital for   procedures to control and   Investments, which is owned
        was returning a hat to a display   Children.          document the transfer of   by Sir Philip Green’s wife, Tina
        near the cash desk and queue   The Crown Office and   fixtures, fittings and    Green.

        Worker died in 7.5 m stairwell fall                                             have been less. By working from
                                                                                        the bottom up they increased
                                                                                        the height each time.”
        A property developer fined   Kevin Smith, the Health and   The general operative    He added: “The company
        over the death of a worker   Safety Executive (HSE)   was employed by principal   had a lot of systems [written
        who plummeted 7.5 m        inspector who led the      contractor Formation      down] on paper but in practice
        down a stairwell during the   investigation, told IOSH   Construction. He was using a   many of them were missing.
        conversion of a west London   Magazine “the very basics” were   concrete breaker on the second   There was no edge protection
        warehouse into residential   not in place for a construction   floor of Tech West House in   around [the stairwell], the
        flats did not have a demolition   site “of this complexity and   Acton to make an opening for   victim wasn’t wearing a
        management plan in place.   size”.                    the stairwell when he fell on    harness, there was no
                                                              4 November 2015, sustaining   demolition plan and the
                                                              fatal head injuries.      site’s supervisor was
                                                                The HSE found the company   inexperienced.”
                                                              had not planned or supervised   Formation Construction
                                                              the work and had failed to   pleaded guilty at Westminster
                                                              ensure it was being carried out   Magistrates’ Court on
                                                              safely.                   18 January to breaching s 2(1) of
                                                                Smith said the work was   the Health and Safety at Work
                                                              “poorly planned” because it   Act. It was fined £300,000 and
                                                              was being carried out from the   ordered to pay £17,528 costs
                                                              bottom of the building to the   (see table, right).
                                                              top. “If the workers had started   District Judge Lucie rejected
         The poorly planned demolition work was being carried out from bottom to top  from the top, the fall would   the company’s attempt to shift

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