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Construction firm fined after hoarding falls on passer-by

Date:
10 October 2016

A construction company from Cambridge has been fined after temporary hoarding from one of their sites fell onto a member of public walking along the high street.

Mrs Margaret Gardiner, 68, was knocked into the street and trapped by the 10m long hoarding on 7 July 2015 while walking along the pavement on Bedford high street. The 68-year-old woman sustained injuries to her hip as well as extensive bruising to the rest of her body, including her head.

Luton Magistrates Court heard that the hoarding, which was used to shield the site from the public, had been inadequately constructed. The workers had been given no details, design or instruction on how to build the hoarding and it was left entirely to the team on the site how to construct. There was no supervision and the hoarding had not been adequately supported, tied back or inspected. This resulted in the structure giving way and falling on the member of public.

Frazer Stannard Limited pleaded guilty to breaching Section 3 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 and to breaching Regulation 19(2) Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015 and was fined £100,000 in total (£50,000 for each offence). They were also ordered to pay costs of £2425.16.

HSE inspector Stephen Manley said: “This incident could have easily been a fatality and was entirely preventable. Had Frazer Stannard Limited recognised the work they were doing as temporary works and managed matters properly they would have realised the hoarding was not fit for purpose. Construction companies must learn from this case and plan their work properly ensuring workers are given proper instructions and well as supervision.”

Guidance on how to protect the public from construction work can be found:

http://www.hse.gov.uk/construction/safetytopics/publicprotection.htm

Notes to Editors:

  1. The Health and Safety Executive is Britain’s national regulator for workplace health and safety. It aims to reduce work-related death, injury and ill health. It does so through research, information and advice, promoting training, new or revised regulations and codes of practice, and working with local authority partners by inspection, investigation and enforcement. hse.gov.uk
  2. Further HSE news releases are available at press.hse.gov.uk
  3. For more information go to http://www.hse.gov.uk/pUbns/priced/hsg246.pdf