Office shoes fined after customer fell through hatch

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By adam_leone | Sunday, December 23, 2012, 12:03

Office Shoes have been fined after a woman fell through a hatch and into the basement in the Church Street store.

As a result, the shop has been left with a £24,000 penalty after being found guilty of failing to ensure customer health and safety.

Wimbledon Magistrates Court heard earlier this month how in 2010 a customer shopping with her children fell six feet through an open hatch in the shop floor into a basement stockroom - narrowly missing an employee below.

The woman injured her knees and suffered trauma and shock.

Deputy District Judge Inyundo said that the company did not have a formal approach to health and safety and that insufficient practises were in place for the training and supervision of staff.

The company was fined £12,000 under the Health and Safety at Work Act and ordered to pay £12,000 costs and a victim surcharge of £15.

Councillor Simon James, Kingston Council's Lead Member for Environmental Health and Trading Standards, said: "The health and safety of shoppers and staff is of paramount importance. The council works hard to advise retailers of their legal responsibilities."

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