A care home operator was fi ned £80,000 and ordered to pay over £40,000 in costs following a successful prosecution by HSE in relation to the death of a 42 year old man in its care in Grimsby. Anthony Pinder, who had behavioural and learning diffi culties, was restrained by the company’s staff for a period of 90 minutes in 2004. On his release, he crawled unaided to his room and was found dead a short time later.

 Leeds Crown Court heard that the staff employed by the company had not received adequate training on the means to safely physically restrain patients. The measures used to restrain Mr Pinder were described as “poor, inappropriate and dangerous” during the hearing.

HSE said that those engaged in the restraint were not blamed and the court heard that they had done only what they felt was necessary under diffi cult circumstances. That they did not know how to properly respond in those circumstances was a failure of their employer. Despite a warning that urgent need for safe restraint training was required fi ve months prior to the incident and a promise from senior managers to do so, the company had failed to train its staff. The company was also criticised by HSE for failure to implement training following Mr Pinder’s death.

All employers have duties to ensure that their employees are suffi ciently trained to carry out work activities in a safe manner. This case highlights the risks of inadequate training.