Construction firm Frazer Stannard Ltd have been fined after hoarding on a site on Bedford High Street fell onto a member of public walking by.
68 year-old Margaret Gardiner was knocked down into the street by 10m long hoarding and was trapped underneath. She suffered injuries to her hip and extensive bruising all over her head and body.
An investigation into the incident revealed that the hoarding had not been constructed properly. This was due to the workers that were erecting the hoarding not being given a design, details or instruction on how to build the protective barrier. They had no supervision in undertaking the work and because of their lack of knowledge and experience in erecting hoarding, failed to ensure that it was properly tied back or inspected. This resulted into the hoarding collapsing onto a public street and onto a member of public.
Frazer Stannard Ltd 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. It was fined £100,000 in total (£50,000 for each offence). It was also ordered to pay costs of £2,425.16.
HSE inspector Stephen Manley said after the hearing: “This incident could have easily been a fatality and was entirely preventable. Had Frazer Stannard Ltd 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.”