In 2013 an accident occurred in a Hugo Boss shop when a large very heavy mirror fell on a 4 year old boy; he was rushed to hospital but unfortunately died 4 days later from his injuries.
The boy had been playing with the 120kg unfixed steel-framed fitting-room mirror at the designer shop at the Bicester Village outlet while his father tried on a suit. The clothing giant admitted two health and safety breaches at a hearing at Banbury Magistrates’ Court on 2 June for failing to secure the mirror.
An inquest into the boy’s death heard that the mirror had been moved to the changing room several months before the tragedy, but had not been fixed to the wall. The jury were not able to say who moved it to the fitting room; but believed a risk assessment should have been completed post-work to ensure the mirror was secured to the wall.
A spokesperson for the jury identified they understood there were health and safety systems in place but were not provided with evidence on the effectiveness of these systems.
Clearly, had there been even a basic understanding of health & safety and risk assessment then this tragic accident would most likely have been avoided.
The judge decided that the maximum fine in Magistrates Court (£20,000) was not sufficient to cover this incident and referred the case to Crown Court for sentencing.
In sentencing the company, Oxford Crown Court Judge Peter Ross said Hugo Boss had a “corporate responsibility”, and he wanted to ensure the issue went to the “very top of the company”.
He said it “would have been obvious to the untrained eye” that the mirror posed a risk, adding that it was “nothing short of a miracle” that it had not happened sooner.
Hugo Boss has been fined £1.2m.