Slip up over slippery slippers

PUBLISHED: 12:47 20 April 2006 | UPDATED: 10:01 06 May 2010

Henlow Grange

Henlow Grange

TWO slips on a staircase have cost Henlow Grange £36,000. The owner of the health farm was slapped with the hefty bill following breaches of health and safety regulations after two women fell down stairs on the premises. The company appeared before Bedfor

TWO slips on a staircase have cost Henlow Grange £36,000.

The owner of the health farm was slapped with the hefty bill following breaches of health and safety regulations after two women fell down stairs on the premises.

The company appeared before Bedford magistrates recently and pleaded guilty to a number of health and safety offences in a prosecution brought by Mid Beds District Council.

The council said that between March and April last year, two customers at Henlow Grange slipped and fell down a steep staircase used to access treatment rooms within the resort.

After the first incident, council health and safety inspectors investigated the accident and identified that the slippers sold and commonly used in the resort presented a high risk of slipping when used on stairs.

The council served a notice on the company prohibiting the use of the slippers on the stairs. But the company breached the notice and another accident happened when a woman came down the stairs wearing the same type of slipper.

The woman, says the council, sustained a dislocated shoulder from the fall.

Champneys, owners of Henlow Grange, was fined £24,000 after pleading guilty to three offences - contravening a prohibition notice, failing to fulfil their duty of care to their customers and staff and failing to undertake a suitable and sufficient risk assessment.

Two compensation orders were also made against Champneys to customers for £2,000 and £500 and the company was also ordered to pay costs to Mid Beds District Council of £9,500.

Gary Alderson, head of the council's environmental services, said: "We are very pleased with the high level of this fine which reflects the seriousness of this offence.

"This should send the message to local businesses that we are watching out for the health and safety of their customers and staff. We regularly inspect facilities around the area and will work with owners to correct problems.

"However, if our help and advice is not followed, proper risk assessments are not made and prohibition orders are broken then we have no option but to prosecute.

"Thankfully most local businesses respond positively to our suggestions making prosecutions a rare event."

A spokesman for Henlow Grange said the company declined to make any comment on the prosecution or the fine.


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