One pensioner was injured during a visit to a local chemist when he fell through an open and unattended trap-door, according to his accident claim.
Seventy six year old Martin Habberley fell through the hole at the Boots chemist branch in Welshpool. The man’s injury claims indicate that he sustained a nasty gash to his leg as a result.
Wrexham Magistrates Court heard that the trap-door had been opened to provide access to the cellar of the Broad Street chemist to help a visiting electricity meter reader. The open pit had been guarded by an untrained staff member in order to prevent personal injury claims from occurring. However the employee had left the trap-door unattended after being drawn away by a customer.
After Mr Habberley neglected to spot the open trap-door whilst visiting the store, the pensioner tumbled down three steps and injured himself.
After a successful prosecution by the Health and Safety Executive, the court fined Boots UK Ltd £10,000 for their role in Mr Habberley’s injuries. Additionally, the firm was made responsible for paying £1,240 court costs following an admission of being in breach of Health and Safety regulations.
Despite the hefty fine, magistrates did highlight the very comprehensive and otherwise excellent health and safety procedure Boots had set in place in its many branches. The firm was found to conduct safety reviews and risk assessments on a regular schedule.
In the wake of the incident, Boots took immediate action. In the future the Welshpool store’s meters will now only be read well outside of opening hours in order to minimise the risk of such accidents occurring in the future.
No further information was available regarding Mr Habberley and whether he will be filing a personal injury claim regarding his fall.