A council’s failure to ensure the safety of wooden hoarding at a derelict site left a young girl seriously injured, a court has heard.
The child, eight, suffered multiple injuries, including a fractured hip, when a hoarding was blown on to the pavement in Doncaster during strong winds in December 2013.
Doncaster Council admitted breaching health and safety legislation following an investigation by the Health and Safety Executive.
Doncaster Magistrates’ Court was told how the young girl became trapped between the panel and the pavement.
It was also informed how the local authority was made aware of two similar incidents in the same month involving the same hoarding being blown down. But it failed to take appropriate action to make the hoarding safe.
Doncaster Metropolitan Borough Council, of Civic Offices, Waterdale, Doncaster, pleaded guilty to an offence under Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974. It was fined a total of £12,000 and ordered to pay costs of £1,485.
Unfortunately, public accidents are a regular occurrence across the UK. They happen when you least expect it, catching you unaware and usually causing serious injury, from fractures and back injuries to head and brain injuries.
Slips, trips and falls are among the most common cases of public accidents.
In the event on an uneven pavement, for example, the local council will have public liability insurance to cover any compensation claims. The same applies to falling advertising hoarding, or in this case stray hoarding.
Heavy structures like hoarding have the potential to cause serious injury, so those who manage the sites where they are located have a duty to carry out proper maintenance work to make sure they are safe.
Source: Health and Safety Executive
Date Published: September 7, 2015
Author: Jonathan Brown