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Big fines after hoist death.

Two nursing home owners have been ordered to pay a total of £140,000 after a pensioner died following a fall from a hoist. A 78 year old resident fell while being moved from her bed to a chair at a Nursing Home, in Leicester.

Sisters Fatima and Munira Mawji, who owned the home at the time, admitted breaching health and safety rules by failing to ensure the safety of Miss Bradley, who had Huntingdon’s disease.

Leicester Crown Court was told the defective 15-year-old hoist was in such a poor condition it could not be used safely and that it had not been properly inspected regularly.

The hoist sling had a two-year lifespan but had been in use for nine.

Jonathan Salmon, prosecuting for the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), said: “This tragic accident was entirely avoidable, foreseeable and, perhaps, the sadness is it wouldn’t have cost vast amounts of money to do what is fairly basic maintenance and provision of appropriate slings.”

The HSE found the nurse and care assistant operating the hoist had limited training in manual handling. They also found an unqualified member of staff had been completing maintenance checks at the home.

The sisters were each fined £50,000 and ordered to pay £20,000 costs. Sentencing, Judge Robert Brown told the defendants their provision of care fell “far below” the standards required. He said Munira, when questioned, initially blamed the nurse and then the care home manager for the accident.

Judge Brown said: “Health and safety must be an overriding duty of any owner of a residential nursing home. I accept there are positive features in the management of this home, as various reports of inspections show.

“Mark Balysz, mitigating, said it was an “oversight” the hoists were not inspected every six months, as they should have been. He said outside contractors did complete safety checks but the hoist inspections were inadvertently missed off the contract relating to Harley House, which is now under new ownership.

HSE inspector Dr Richenda Dixon said: “With properly-maintained equipment, better training and supervision, this incident was easily preventable.”

Source: published by THIIS – www.thiis.co.uk

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