Cambridgeshire

Kimbolton School fined over pool attendant's loft fall

An independent school in Cambridgeshire has been fined after a teenage employee was injured when she fell from a loft into changing rooms beneath.

Swimming pool attendant Stacey Paine, 19, and the pool manager were retrieving paperwork stored in a loft at Kimbolton School.

Miss Paine, from St Neots, broke her wrist in the fall on 20 April 2010.

The school admitted breaching the Work at Height Regulations 2005 and was fined £6,000 with costs of £2,276.40.

Huntingdon Magistrates' Court heard that to reach the documents Miss Paine walked along a beam in an unboarded loft but lost her footing.

She fell 2.5m (8ft) on to the tiled floor of the changing room below, narrowly missing a benched area.

'Severe injuries'

Magistrates were told the school, which charges fees of up to £20,925 a year, had not carried out a risk assessment for entering the loft and failed to ensure staff did not work on or near a fragile surface.

The case was brought by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).

After the hearing, HSE inspector Stephen Faulkner said: "The outcome of this incident could have been very different.

"Falling from height, particularly on to such a hard surface, often results in severe injuries or even death.

"It is an employer's duty to ensure the safety of all staff and anyone working at height needs to be protected.

"In this case, the documents could have been stored somewhere easier to reach and if a simple risk assessment had been carried out, this would have been identified.

"I urge any organisation to consider where they store items, including paperwork, and how safe it is for an employee to access."

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