Head Of Training, The Healthy Work Company

October 16, 2014

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Slug and Lettuce fined after toddler falls into basement

A national pub chain has been sentenced after a two-year-old girl fell six feet through a staircase balustrade and into a basement below at the Slug and Lettuce in Hanover Street, London, in October 2012.

The company appeared at Westminster Magistrates’ Court following an investigation by Westminster Council which found that the gap in the balustrade violated building regulations. The incident was captured on CCTV

The girl was taken to hospital by ambulance, but was not seriously injured.

The Slug and Lettuce Company, which owns 70 bars across the country, admitted a breach of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 and the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999. The company was ordered to pay an £8,000 fine, £25,000 costs and a victim surcharge of £400.

A spokesman for the chain said: “This incident is extremely regrettable and our sincere apologies were extended to the family at the time.

“Since then we have reviewed, and continue to review, health and safety at all of our premises and I can report that no incidents of this nature have happened since.”

Councillor Nickie Aiken, Westminster Council’s public protection boss, said: “People sometimes scoff at the small print of health and safety regulations but here is an example of what can happen when it’s not observed.

“While this little girl is so lucky not to have been seriously hurt, the accident could have ended very differently. Hard work by Westminster City Council’s health and safety team has ensured this lapse came to light. Now, other businesses should learn the lesson.”

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