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Health and Safety UCL loses appeal against fine

AN APPEAL by University College London (UCL) against a £300,000 fine after a student suffered eye damage was rejected by the Court of Appeal today.

UCL was fined last July after pleading guilty to health and safety breaches that led to a woman suffering “life-changing” injuries.

Marie-Laure Hicks, who was studying at UCL’s London Centre for Nanotechnology, was injured in June 2014 when glass from a “bespoke piece of equipment called a lithium evaporator” exploded during an experiment.

The masters student required stitches to her face and surgery to remove fragments of glass from her eye. After further surgery was unsuccessful, Ms Hicks was left with partial vision in her left eye.

The college admitted the health and safety breaches but appealed against the £300,000 fine.

Lord Justice Holyrode rejected the appeal on the grounds that its fine was not “manifestly excessive” and that UCL’s charitable status had been taken into account in calculating the fine.


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