Updated Sep 24, 2021

Care provider fined for failing to manage risk of service user

Action Group, who provides support to children and adults, has been fined £20,000 after the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigated how risks to staff were assessed, following an attack on an employee by a service user.

Edinburgh Sheriff Court heard that a female employee of the group was abducted, assaulted, sexually assaulted and raped in 2018 while visiting a home of a male service user to provide support and care.

An investigation by the HSE, prompted by the police's investigation into the attack, found that Action Group failed to carry out a suitable and sufficient risk assessment of the safety of their female employees posed by the service user. This was despite concerns being raised by support staff about their safety with this service user from as early as 1994.

Action Group pleaded guilty to breaching the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 and the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations SI 1999/3242. The group was fined £20,000.

HSE inspector Kerry Cringan said: "This was a harrowing case for all involved and could have been avoided by carrying out a suitable assessment of the risks, particularly those posed to female members of staff. If this had been done, appropriate control measures and safe working practices could have been put in place that would have protected their staff and prevented this incident".

A separate prosecution against the individual led by Police Scotland, the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service (COPFS) was completed in 2019.