A Worcestershire-based building contractor has been fined after a woman suffered
severe head injuries when she was hit by a section of fencing that collapsed in a gust of wind.
Thomas Vale Construction plc of Worcester Road, Stourport, was refurbishing part of the Birmingham Metropolitan College in Kidderminster when the incident happened on 15 May 2012.
It pleaded guilty to a breach of Regulation 28(1) of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007 and was fined £20,000 and ordered to pay costs of £10,250.
The 56-year-old woman from Kidderminster, who does not wish to be named, was walking past the site when two sections of the hoarding blew over and collapsed on her, knocking her to the floor and leaving her unconscious.
She suffered substantial head injuries, including severe concussion, a gash on the head and fluid and bruising on the brain, which hospitalised her for 16 days.
The injuries also affected her balance and senses of hearing, smell and taste, and she was unable to work for seven months.
Kidderminster Magistrates’ Court heard that the woman’s injuries were sustained two weeks after another part of the perimeter fence had blown over in the wind, although no one was hurt on that occasion.
The Health and Safety Executive, which brought the prosecution, concluded that Thomas Vale Construction should have carried out a more thorough risk assessment because the impact of collapse was “foreseeably catastrophic”.
Head injury claim
A head injury has the potential to be very serious. It can be anything from bruising or cuts, to a fractured skull and/or injury to the brain.
Seeking compensation can be crucial to an individual’s future lifestyle, especially if they have lost income by having time off work as they recover.
Source: BBC News