News & Views

Did not wish well during house viewing

DC
BY Douglas Cameron
Health & Safety
BG Orange

A Wiltshire based estate agents has been fined after a member of the public they were showing round a property fell 30ft down a well.

Swindon Magistrates Court heard how, during an open house viewing the prospective buyer stepped onto a wooden board which was covering a well. The board gave way and she fell 30ft down the well, where she became submerged by water. A hosepipe was thrown to the woman and she managed to secure it around her waist it was another hour before she was rescued from the well. The incident left the victim with head injuries, including concussion but also suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found the estate agents had been warned about the well and the board that was covering it did not look safe. The company did not properly investigate if there was a risk of people falling down the well when they were viewing the property.

Strakers (Holdings) Limited of Market Place, Devizes, Wiltshire pleaded guilty to breaching section 3 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and have been fined £200,000 and ordered to pay costs of £2,474.

About us

As trusted experts in employment law, HR and health & safety, we offer a range of flexible employee relations services under one roof. By delivering top quality, all-inclusive fixed-fee advice, we enable employers to take quick, confident and decisive action.
 

Read more

Areas of Expertise

Employment Law

Find out more

HR Consultancy

Find out more 

Health & Safety

Find out more