11 Dec Brent Council fined £100,000 for failing to adhere to lone worker policy
A local authority was fined a six-figure sum after two social workers were attacked by a vulnerable child’s mother – who had a history of violence.
Social workers employed by Brent Council were struck over the head with a “metal object” during a visit to the home of a vulnerable child, leaving one unconscious.
The council was ordered to pay out a £100,000 fine and ordered to pay costs of £10,918.88 after it was found to have failed to carry out a risk assessment, on November 29.
Westminster Magistrates’ Court heard how, on July 3 2015, two social workers employed by London Borough of Brent visited the home of a vulnerable child to carry out a child safety plan assessment.
While note-taking, both social workers were struck over the head with a metal object by the mother, resulting in one of them being knocked temporarily unconscious.
Both social workers received serious wounds to the head, and the employee knocked unconscious was later diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
Council ‘failed to adhere to its own procedure’
Health and Safety Executive (HSE) inspector, Neil Fry, said: “Violent and aggressive incidents are the third biggest cause of injuries reported to HSE from the health and social care sector.
“The local authority in this case failed to adhere to and implement its own systems and procedure for the management of lone working and violence and aggression against social workers.
“This risk could have been reduced in a number of ways including carrying out the visit in a controlled environment, such as the local social workers’ office.”