Hugo Boss in court over boy’s death

10 June 2015

Hugo Boss has admitted to two counts of Health & Safety failings after a four year old boy was crushed to death by a falling mirror in one of their stores at the Bicester Village outlet.

The court heard how Austen Harrison, had been playing with a 120kg unfixed mirror in the store when it came loose and fell on top of the child.

The prosecution have claimed that the case should be taken to the crown court instead of the magistrates’ court, as they feel that the maximum £20,000 fine is insufficient in this case and they are looking to fine Hugo Boss for around £100,000.

District Judge David Chinery agreed with the prosecution and said:

“This is quite plainly an exceptionally sad case and one where I consider that the penalties available in this court are clearly not appropriate to a case of this magnitude,”

The case has been adjourned to Oxford Crown Court on the 19th June.

How to prevent recurrence

Citation’s head of Health & Safety Alistair Hall has spoken about the procedures that should be in place, to prevent this sort of terrible accident happening again.

“All equipment should be fit for purpose and the instructions and requirements fully understood. In this case the requirements for the mirror were for it to be fixed to the wall and reinforced but when it was moved several months earlier this wasn’t actioned.”

“Bearing in mind the size of the mirror which was seven feet tall and its weight 120kg (19 stone), a risk assessment should have been carried out prior to it being moved and this would have helped identify this requirement. Had that been done then this tragic death of a small child could have been avoided.”

“Had that been done then this tragic death of a small child could have been avoided. It is essential that all fittings and equipment are suitable and sufficient and that they are risk assessed to ensure that they are made safe.”

“Another consideration is if external contractors are used to move equipment ensure they are competent before they are appointed.”

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