Pensioner Almost Killed by Falling Fencing

An incident that took place on a construction site in London is not only a tragedy but also an example of neglect of health and safety leading to the death of an elderly member of the public.

The court found that there was a clear risk to the public which should have been easily identified and addressed.

A contractor was subsequently fined after a pensioner was seriously injured as she walked past the London construction site. A metal fence collapsed and knocked the pensioner to the ground on 1 August 2012. The elderly woman suffered debilitating injury and struggles with mobility issues as a result of the incident.

The 91 year woman was walking past the construction site when the fence collapsed onto her causing her to fracture her hip and shoulder. The incident which took place at Bromley High Street required the woman to stay in hospital for a long period of time and has negatively impacted her independence.

The case was heard by a Westminster Magistrates in November. The court heard that Fadil Adil, was responsible for the fence around the building site and the construction of flats and a commercial unit.

The fence was 2metres high and a similar mesh style fencing that is common across the construction industry however in this case the fencing as improperly installed. The magistrates heard that the fencing was not built or maintained to an approved design.

Apparently the fence collapsed not because of poor weather but because of its instability and the fact that it was unfit for the purpose. The court found that there was a clear risk which should have been addressed by Adil sooner.

Mr Adil pleaded guilty and was fined £15,000 and ordered to pay £3,000 in costs plus a further £5,000 in compensation. Following the hearing HSE Inspector Bernardine Cooney said,

publicpensioner“The law clearly states that all temporary works, including fences and hoardings, are properly designed, constructed and maintained by competent people to ensure they are safe.

This clearly wasn’t the case on this occasion and a pensioner was seriously injured as a result. She could have been killed, and the fence also posed a clear risk to other passers-by as well as workers on the construction site it served.

Fadil Adil could and should done more to prevent that risk as the principal contractor responsible for the site.”

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This case reminds me of the tragic incident that took place on the Grocon site in Melbourne last year when a wall collapsed and fell onto 3 passers-by, killing all 3. Although this elderly lady was lucky to escape death, the outcome could have been much more tragic.

Employers need to ensure that any risks identified are addressed immediately so that they do not endanger the health and safety of workers or members of the general public.

Posted by Construction Safety News Admin
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