Lewisham Council has been fined £150,000 after a woman hit her head as she fell into a put at Wearside Service Centre.

The visitor to the centre fell into a vehicle inspection pit at the site in Ladywell, hitting her head.

The council was found found guilty and fined at Southwark Crown Court for failing to manage and control the risk of people falling into vehicle inspection pits.

The court heard how the council failed to follow its own independent health and safety consultant’s findings from two sets of risk assessments which recommended guarding around or over the open pits.

Lewisham Council also ignored Health and Safety Executive (HSE) advice on the need to guard against people falling in the pits.

Now it has been fined £150,000 and ordered to pay costs of £65,000.

HSE inspector Ian Shearring said: “Falls from height remain one of the most common causes of work fatalities in this country.

“The risks associated with working at height are well-known. Lewisham Council had been repeatedly warned of the risk and what they needed to do, and have today been held to account for failing to take adequate action to protect the health and safety of persons visiting their site.”

A Lewisham Council spokesperson said: “We regret the accident which occurred in May 2012 and accept the Crown Court’s judgment. It’s important to note that this accident occurred over five years ago and since then, a range of measures have been in place that have improved safety significantly.”