A woman was airlifted to hospital after she was hit by a metal site hoarding which fell from an academy job in Kidderminster on the 20th of May.
The victim was struck by the 6ft by 7ft site perimeter fencing panel when it fell in high winds.
The Main contractor on the job was Thomas Vale, who were converting the historic Piano Building into a new academy for Kidderminster College and Birmingham Metropolitan College.
The woman was waiting at bus stop at the time of the accident and had to be freed from under the hoarding by members of the public.
A West Midlands Ambulance Service spokesman said: “Ambulance crews arrived to find a female had been struck by a metal fence panel. A woman in her fifties was treated at the scene for a serious head injury. The patient was immobilised with the use of a neck collar and placed on a spinal board before being taken to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham for further assessment and treatment. The hospital was alerted to the serious condition of the patient.”
A Thomas Vale spokeswoman said: “Due to adverse weather conditions, we understand that a section of fencing collapsed which caused some injuries to a member of the public on the perimeter of the site. The emergency services, alongside the Health & Safety Executive were notified immediately and we will be working with all parties to determine the root-cause.”
The spokeswoman added: “We wish the lady in question a speedy recovery.”
Source: Construction Enquirer
LST Comment: The accident occurred due to “adverse weather conditions”. A structural engineer/designer should ensure any fencing or hoarding is designed to withstand adverse weather conditions via calculations and designed drawings; thus ensuring it’s stability. These designs and calculations may also be called up as evidence, should there be an incident.
Clearly this needs to be site specific and take into consideration the effects on others (e.g. members of the public) should there be potential for failure.
Serious consideration should be given to the quality of staff training and competence whist erecting any structure of this type. Additionally, site foreman should fully understand the importance of following design drawings. Management should conduct strict management checks on finished fencing for the quality, stability and suitability of what has been erected on completion and contract dependant periodically thereafter.
Please do not get caught on the wrong side of this fence!