July 08 2021

Organisations urged to check free standing furniture

After a tragic incident led to an avoidable death

Avoidable incident

A high school in Chelmsford has been fined after a young child died when a locker in a changing room fell on top of him. On 23 May 2019, nine-year-old Leo Latifi was fatally injured when he attended an after-school swimming lesson at the sports centre of Great Baddow High School. The incident occurred whilst he and another young child had been waiting in the boy’s changing room for their lesson to start. The lockers, which had doors missing, stood prominently in the changing area provided a climbing frame to the children. As they climbed on the front of the unit it toppled forward. One child was able to jump free but tragically Leo could not and the locker fell on top of him.

The HSE’s investigation found that the locker unit, which was 180cm tall and weighed 188kg, had not been secured to the wall to prevent it from toppling over despite the unit having fixing brackets fitted as part of its structure. The court was told that several scenarios could have caused the unit to move including an adult stepping onto the lowest edge of the unit to pull at a bag stuck in a top-tier locker or to clean the top of the unit.

The full story is available here.


We were deeply saddened to hear of this incident which could have been prevented and our thoughts are with the family. As trusted professionals you matter to us, that’s you, our clients, our people and our community. Our strapline is enabling safe environments, which means that our clients can sleep easily at night knowing that their legal, ethical and financial obligations are met. We ensure that you are compliant and all risks have been assessed and proactively mitigated. Our goal is to become an extension of your business, enabling you to remain effective and efficient.

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Shaun Ashmead