A contractor has been fined for safety failings after a pensioner was seriously injured when a metal construction fence collapsed and knocked her to the ground as she walked past a site in south east London.
The 91-year-old, who does not wish to be named, fractured her hip and shoulder in the incident at Bromley High Street on 1 August 2012. She required a lengthy stay in hospital and now struggles with her mobility and independence.
Westminster Magistrates’ Court heard yesterday (19 November) that Fadil Adil, 54, from Bromley, was responsible for the fence in question as it surrounded a development he was working on to create flats and a commercial unit.
The section that struck the pensioner was two metres high and was a similar mesh style to fencing that is commonplace across the construction industry.
An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) established that it was poorly installed and wasn’t built or maintained to an approved design.
The court was told the weather wasn’t a factor on the day and that the fence could have fallen at any time. It was simply a case of the fence not being fit for purpose, and posing a clear risk that should have been addressed sooner.
Fadil Adil, of Coniston Road, Bromley, was fined £15,000 and ordered to pay £3,000 in costs plus a further £5,000 in compensation after pleading guilty to a single breach of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007.
After the hearing, HSE Inspector Bernardine Cooney said:
“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.”
Further information on properly planning and organising temporary works, including hoardings, can be found on the HSE website at www.hse.gov.uk/construction.
Notes to Editors:
- 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. www.hse.gov.uk
- Regulation 28(2) of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007 states: “Any buttress, temporary support or temporary structure must be of such design and so installed and maintained as to withstand any foreseeable loads which may be imposed on it, and must only be used for the purposes for which it is so designed, installed and maintained.”