An estate agents company from Wiltshire has been fined £200,000 and ordered to pay costs of nearly £2,500 after a member of the public whom they were showing around a house, fell 30 feet down a well.
Swindon Magistrates Court heard how while looking around a house, a prospective buyer had stepped on a wooden board in the garden of the property, only for it to collapse and for her to fall down the well which it was supposedly covering. While the victim landed in water, she suffered head injuries including concussion, and subsequently experienced post-traumatic stress. It took over an hour for her to be rescued by securing a hosepipe around her waist and pulling her to safety.
When the Health and Safety Executive investigated the incident, they found that the estate agents in question had been warned about the well and its unsuitable cover, but had failed to investigate the risk of anyone falling down it while viewing the property.
Speaking after the hearing HSE Inspector Matthew Tyler said: “This incident could have easily become a fatal tragedy. If, when warned of the unsafe well the company had properly checked to see if it was secure, the trauma this individual has gone through could have been prevented. Employers must check the risks associated with their work to protect their workers and members of the public they have contact with. Once they have identified any risks they can take practical steps to control them.”
If you or someone you care for has been injured while on private land, and it was not your fault, you could be entitled to make a claim for compensation. Our solicitors have years of experience in handling cases such as these, and are available to speak to right now, for free, with no obligation to continue with a case if you chose not to do so. Contact us today to see how we can help you get the compensation you deserve for an accident that was not your fault. If you prefer you can leave your details with us and we will contact you at a convenient time to discuss your case.