A 91-year-old woman who was seriously injured when a construction fence collapsed and knocked her to the ground has received £5,000 in compensation.
The Evening Standard reports that the pensioner, who does not wish to be named, suffered a fractured hip and shoulder as a result of the incident in Bromley High Street, southeast London, on 1 August 2012.
Westminster Magistrates Court was told how Fadil Adil, 54, of Coniston Road, Bromley, was responsible for the fence which surrounded a construction development he was working on.
The fence, which sat at two metres high and resembled the sort of mesh fencing typically seen on construction sites, left the woman requiring a lengthy stay in hospital and now she struggles with her mobility and independence.
In its investigation, the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) concluded that it was poorly installed and wasn’t built or maintained to an approved standard.
Prosecutors waved away suggestions that the weather played a role in the fence coming down and said it could have fallen at any time as it was not fit for purpose.
Adil was fined £15,000 and ordered to pay £3,000 in costs, as well as £5,000 in compensation. He previously pleaded guilty to a single breach of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007.
HSE inspector Bernardine Cooney highlighted how the law states that all temporary works, including fences and hoardings, must be properly designed, constructed and maintained by competent people to ensure they are safe – which wasn’t the case on this occasion.
“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,” Cooney stressed.