A south London hotel firm has been fined after a slate tile fell and fractured a three-year-old girl’s skull. 

Luxury Family Hotels (LFH), registered on Manfred Road in Putney, owns Moonfleet Manor in Dorset which was having its roof renovated in June 2019. 

The young girl was leaving the hotel with her dad and older brother after attending a swimming lesson when a tile fell and hit her. 

She was rushed to hospital where she was put into an induced coma and then underwent a two-hour operation to remove fragments of slate from her head. 

An investigation was launched by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) which found that three different firms were at fault. 

The roof was being renovated by Rocare Building Services Limited, who had taken off the old tiles and had new tiles stacked around the roof. 

One of the new tiles fell off and hit the young girl around five metres below. 

Quadra Built Environmental Consultancy Limited had been hired by Moonfleet Manor as the principal designer, in charge of planning, managing and monitoring the pre-construction phase. 

The company failed in the planning and design stage to properly assess the risks of objects falling from height and hitting people. 

Your Local Guardian: The piece of slate that hit the childThe piece of slate that hit the child (Image: HSE)The investigation also found that scaffolding was not fit for purpose because it did not have sufficient measures to prevent items falling such as protective fans, covered walkways or, at a minimum, brick guards around the entire perimeter. 

There was also insufficient consultation and collaboration between the various duty holders, HSE said. 

A judge found that Moonfleet Manor ignored requests and failed to put in measures to address an obvious hazard of falling objects coming into contact with members of the public using the busy thoroughfare to the swimming pool. 

Moonfleet Manor was more concerned about putting convenience of the guests and preventing the hotel from looking like a building site than the safety of their guests, the judge stated. 

HSE inspector Nicole Buchanan said: “This incident has caused significant injuries and extreme distress to a child and her family; and could have been fatal. 

“Clients and construction companies must always remember their legal duty to keep both workers and members of the public safe. 

“The client, principal designer and principal contractor all have a duty to work together to implement the industry standards to ensure members of the public are safe particularly if a venue is to remain live.” 

On October 24, 2023, LFH was fined £200,000 and ordered to pay £143,482.04 in costs. 

Rocare Building Services were fined £160,000 and ordered to pay £15,554 in costs, while Quandra Building Environmental Consultancy Ltd were fined £60,000 and ordered to pay £25,000 in costs.