York College has been found guilty of health and safety failings which led to the death of a three-year-old girl at their on-site nursery.
Lydia Bishop died at the nursery on 17 September 2013, after a rope attached to a slide became entangled around her neck.
She was not discovered for 20 minutes and was later pronounced dead upon her arrival at York Hospital.
The rope was supposed to be removed at the end of every supervised play session, but the court heard that it had not been moved for two months.
The College was today found guilty of failing to ensure people not in their employment were not exposed to a risk to their health and safety.
Nursery worker Sophee Readhead was cleared of manslaughter by gross negligence and a further health and safety charge.
“This was an extremely tragic case for all concerned, not least for Lydia’s family who have been left devastated by the loss of their daughter.
“It is only right that a full investigation into her death was conducted to provide her family with some answers and to establish if there was a criminal case to answer.
“The court has found that York College as an organisation were in breach of their own health and safety procedures, which ultimately resulted in Lydia’s sad and untimely death.
“Unfortunately, it has taken the death of a three-year-old girl to expose the flaws in their health and safety practices and I hope this case serves as a warning to other organisations that it isn’t enough to just have a procedure written down.
“As we have seen in this case, health and safety is more than just a tick-box exercise, it is something which must be properly and strictly put into practice by all members of staff otherwise you are faced with a tragedy which could ultimately have been avoided.”
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