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Council fined after care home resident suffers burns

25 August 2017

Western Isles Council, Comhairle nan Eilean Siar (CNES), has been fined after a 54-year old man who receives 24-hour support from its care service suffered serious burns.

Stornoway Sherriff Court heard how Mr Angus John MacLennan had learning difficulties and received a 24-hour support service from CNES. On 4 May 2016, Mr MacLennan suffered serious burns to his body while bathing.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found CNES failed to adequately manage the scalding risk, despite being made aware of it in the six months previous through their own risk assessment of Mr MacLennan.

The HSE investigation also found that CNES employees had received no training in managing the risks of scalding including how to run the bath or check the temperature. Staff had also not been provided with thermometers for this purpose.

Western Isles Council of Stornoway pleaded guilty to breaching Section 3 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, and has been fined £8,000 and ordered to pay a compensation order of £2,000 to Mr MacLennan.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Hazel Dobb said: “The care service run by CNES was aware of the risks to Mr MacLennan when it came to scalding whilst bathing but did little to mitigate these. The staff were not adequately trained or provided with equipment to keep the resident from harm. As a result, a vulnerable member of the public has suffered serious burns that were wholly preventable.” 

Notes to Editors:

  1. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is Britain’s national regulator for workplace health and safety. It helps Great Britain work well by applying a broad range of regulatory interventions and scientific expertise, to prevent work-related death, injury and ill health. It does so through research, information and advice, promoting training, new or revised regulations and codes of practice, and working with local authority partners by inspection, investigation and enforcement.
  2. More about the legislation referred to in this case can be found at:
  3. HSE news releases are available at


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