Council fined after fatal fall
Posted Fri, 28 Jan 2011
A local authority in Scotland has been hit with a fine after a 90-year-old woman died because she fell down a hole in her home left uncovered by gas repairmen, the Health and safety Executive (HSE) said.
West Lothian Council was fined £80,000 at Livingston Sheriff Court after pleading guilty to breaching health and safety regulations. Catherine Walker died after suffering major injuries when she fell into an unguarded access hole in the hallway of her home, which had been made by local authority staff carrying out gas repair works. She was on her way to the bathroom of her house in Broompark View, East Calder, when the accident happened. West Lothian Council has since apologised for the incident.
HSE Inspector Garry Stimpson said: "This tragedy could have been avoided. The council employees should have covered the access hole or erected a barrier around it - this would have ensured the safety of Mrs Walker."
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