A man who was badly burnt by a shower in his respite home has been awarded compensation for his ordeal by Portsmouth Magistrates’ Court.
Brian Leek, 76, suffered severe burns to thirteen percent of his body after extremely hot water emerged from a respite home’s shower in 2009. He required treatment from a specialist burns hospital after originally being taken to St Mary’s Hospital.
His injuries will not heal completely and is unable to return home to live with his wife as a result.
Isle of Wight Council was ordered to pay a £12,000 fine after they pleaded guilty to breaching one count of health and safety legislation.
An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) into the shower system at The Gouldings respite home found that it had not been fitted with a mixing valve which would have kept the temperature at a safe level.
Steve Beynon, Isle of Wight Council’s chief executive, was interviewed under caution after the HSE found two other respite homes, Ryde and Westminster House, and the Adelaide, also lacked mixing valves in their shower systems.
The HSE also found there were no systems in place for inspecting or maintaining valves in the shower system or checking water temperature.
Joanna Woodcock of the HSE said it was vital that controls were fitted to showers and baths to ensure they operated at the correct temperature.
“Vulnerable people may be unable to react quickly to avoid the danger. They may also be more liable to serious injury from very hot water,” she said.
“The consequences of scalding can, in addition to causing excruciating pain, be fatal, although thankfully did not happen in this case.”
Isle of Wight Council was fined £12,000 by magistrates and was also ordered to pay legal costs of £5,133.
They paid an undisclosed amount of compensation to Mr Leek.
Ian Anderson, director of well being and social care for the council said: “We are deeply sorry that this was regrettable incident occurred. Safeguards are now in place to minimise the risk of a similar incident happening again.”