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Compensation may be sought by a pensioner who sustained a serious head injury during an accident in a public place.
The unnamed 85-year-old had to be kept in hospital for eight days after an advertising board hit her while she walked past a construction site at Wardroper House on St George's Road, Southwark, in July 2010.
The impact of the material caused her to suffer a deep cut on her head that required 13 stitches and, although she has since made a full recovery, the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) opted to carry out an investigation into the accident.
According to the watchdog, this boarding had been poorly-designed, as well as being badly maintained and constructed, meaning the firm responsible for putting it in position, Hertfordshire-based Durkan Ltd; had been negligent.
It was found that the board had been placed alongside the pavement next to the development, but it had been overloaded with advertising material.
During a case heard at Westminster Magistrates' Court, the HSE insisted that this accident could have been avoided had Durkan designed and maintained the hoarding properly by taking issues such as weather conditions and weight limits into account.
After pleading guilty to breaching the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007, the company was ordered to pay a fine of £5,000 and legal costs totalling £6,000.
Following the case, HSE inspector Toby Webb commented: "This sign was not maintained in a safe condition and a pensioner was seriously injured as a result. She could have been killed and there was a clear risk to other passers-by as well as workers on the construction site it served. Durkan could and should done more to prevent that risk."
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