G4S Care and Justice Services (UK) was fined after an employee suffered life-changing injuries due to being assaulted by four individuals at a young offender’s training facility, the Oakhill Secure Training Centre, in Milton Keynes.
The Secure Care Officer (SCO), who had only worked for the company for around three months, was working alone with a group of six trainees, who were taking part in a scheduled activity on the outdoor fenced football pitch on 15 March 2017.
During the activity, one of the individuals attempted to climb the fence. The incident escalated, and the SCO tried to deal with it alone. However, the situation became hostile, and the SCO was attacked by four of the individuals.
The SCO sustained multiple injuries to his head and body. He was taken to hospital by ambulance, then subsequently put in an induced coma for three weeks. He suffered brain damage and had a plate fitted in his skull. He spent a further two months in a specialist brain injury rehabilitation centre.
Now, the SCO said he struggles to read and understand things and has therefore been referred to a neuropsychologist. Additionally, the incident has left emotional scars, distrust in others and the inability to talk about his injury when asked.
G4S Care and Justice Services (UK) Ltd failed to ensure robust procedures were put in place to ensure that inexperienced staff were not working alone with groups of young people who presented a high risk of violence.
G4S Care and Justice Services (UK) Ltd pleaded guilty to breaching section 2(1) and Section 33(1)(a) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and were fined £250,000 and ordered to pay costs of £13,787.
Jeremy Sirrell, a Director at Palmers and a Health and Safety expert, said: “The failure to ensure a new employee was not left alone during a high-risk situation has led to an incident that could have been prevented.
“If you have encountered a similar incident, it is vital that you seek specialist advice at the earliest convenience.”
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