Stair fall death sees care firm fined £120,000

A £120,000 fine has been slapped on Oakbridge Care Home in Glasgow after owners Oakbridge Care Ltd admitted breaching Health and Safety Executive (HSE) regulations.

Mary Thom, aged 66, died from her injuries after accessing stairs through a door that was left unlocked.

Oakbridge Care Ltd which runs the home had been advised by the Health and Safety Executive to install a keypad or other security device on doors leading to the stairs.

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The home instead fitted universal locks. Mrs Thom fell “approximately 1 metre” when she got through an unlocked door on February 9, 2013 and died on July 9 of that year.

In issuing the fine, sheriff Paul Crozier said it was “beyond his understanding” why the home did not act on the HSE advice.

He said the universal locks were “inadequate”, adding: “The company was aware of the particular needs of Mrs Thom and in my view failed to give those needs due regard.”

The sheriff said Mrs Thom and her family “should have been able to confidently rely” on the home to provide a “safe environment to live her life”.

Legal practitioners RadcliffesLeBrasseur recently warned care home fines are on the rise following new sentencing guidelines (see RadcliffesLeBrasseur: Why care fines are on the rise).

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