Wakefield Council secures successful prosecution

​Date: 26/06/2014

Following a prosecution brought by Wakefield Council, Mauricare (Wakefield) LTD was found guilty at Wakefield Magistrates Court on Friday, June 20.

The company was prosecuted for two offences under Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 relating to conditions at a residential care home that they own, namely, Ashby Lodge, 667 Leeds Road at Outwood.

During an inspection of Ashby Lodge at Outwood, the Council identified serious failings regarding windows in that there was a lack of suitable and sufficient window restrictors and in one of the bedrooms the window was in such a dangerous condition that the window had broken completely away from the frame. Window restrictors were also found to be inadequate, some were missing and others broken.

The premises is registered for care of the elderly which includes caring for people with dementia and therefore must have window restrictors fitted on windows above ground floor level where it is possible that vulnerable people may fall.

The company was fined £7,000 for offences under the Health and Safety at Work Act and a victim surcharge of £120.

Cllr Maureen Cummings, Cabinet Member for Environment and Communities, said: "We remain committed to protecting vulnerable residents and are pleased with the outcome of this case. It sends a clear message about the high standards that are expected and anything less won't be tolerated."

Guidance issued by the Health and Safety Executive state that restrictors should restrict a window to 100mm or less and that they must be suitable and robust to withstand damage, either deliberate or form general wear and the frames to which the restrictors are fitted should be sufficiently robust. All the windows have now been rectified to meet appropriate standards