Arcadia fined £450k after girl crushed by safety barrier

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High Street clothing empire Arcadia Group has been fined £450,000 after a young girl was left permanently disfigured after she was crushed by a queue barrier at a Topshop store in Glasgow.

Glasgow Sheriff Court heard how the girl, aged 10, had been accompanying her mother to Silverburn Shopping Centre in Glasgow on 7 February 2017.

The mother had been returning a hat to a display, when she heard a scream and turned around to see her daughter lying on the floor with the queue barrier on top of her.

She was taken to hospital and treated for a skull fracture, laceration and haematoma.

Revealing details of the investigation after the case was sentenced on 30 January, The Crown Office reported that Arcadia Group had failed to implement a safe system of work for the transfer of two queue barriers from their Argyle Street branch to the Silverburn shop.

Arcadia had also failed to ensure that the barriers were properly secured to the floor and maintained to ensure that they did not fall.

Arcadia Group Ltd, which owns the Topshop, Miss Selfridge and Dorothy Perkins brands, pleaded guilty to breaching sections 3(1) and section 33(1)(a) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and was fined £450,000.

Alistair Duncan, head of the health and safety division at Scotland’s Crown Office said: “This was a foreseeable and avoidable accident which resulted in the severe injury and permanent disfigurement of a young girl.”

A spokesperson from Arcadia Group later commented: “The Arcadia Group remains saddened by the injury suffered by the young girl as a result of this incident and our thoughts are with her and her family.

“The health and safety of our customers and employees is of the utmost importance to us. Arcadia accepts that its system for the transfer of fittings between stores was not as robust as it should have been and this led to an unsecured fixture being present in the Silverburn store. We apologise unreservedly for this.”


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