Child lost finger after Birtenshaw special school in Bromley Cross failed to fit safety guards on doors
Updated 2:17pm Friday 11th April 2014 in News
A SPECIAL school has been ordered to pay almost £900 after a nine-year-old autistic boy lost a finger when it became trapped in a door.
Birtenshaw was ordered to pay the legal costs after a prosecution for safety failings by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).
An HSE investigation found the organisation had failed to make sure all of the doors at its new special needs school in Bromley Cross were fitted with finger guards.
Trafford Magistrates Court heard that the child, who also has learning difficulties, trapped his hand in the hinge of the door when he went into the "quiet room" during his first few days in the new school building on September 11, 2012.
He lost all of his index finger as a result of the incident.
The court was told that the charity, which runs Birtenshaw School in Darwen Road along with several care homes, had identified the need for finger guards during the construction of its new school building.
However, the organisation failed to make sure the guards had been fitted before the new building opened to pupils in September 2012, and several doors were found to have missing guards.
Birtenshaw was given a conditional discharge but was ordered to pay £898 in prosecution costs after admitting a breach of the Health and Safety at Work Act.
Speaking after the hearing, HSE Inspector David Norton said: “A nine-year-old boy has suffered an injury that will affect him for the rest of his life because of the failings of the charity which runs the school.
“Birtenshaw knew there was a risk of children’s fingers becoming trapped in doors as the pupils who attend the school have learning and physical disabilities, making them particularly vulnerable.
“It would have been relatively easy to walk around the school to check all of the doors had been fitted with finger guards before pupils moved into the new building, but the charity failed to do this.
“It’s vital that organisations do more than just identify risks and actually make sure measures are in place to tackle any dangers.”
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