Construction Firm Fined Over Christmas Lights Safety Breach

Expert Calls For Lessons To Be Learnt

10.03.2011

A public liability expert at Irwin Mitchell has welcomed the fine given to a Buckinghamshire builder over failings which led to two people being injured by falling Christmas lights.

Broadland (Builders) Limited has been fined £12,000 and ordered to pay costs of £4,250 over the incident in November 2007, when decorations placed across St Neots high street collapsed.

The incident left one passer-by unconscious with broken ribs, a punctured lung and head injuries, while another sustained broken fingers and bruising.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive revealed that the decoration had been attached via an anchoring bolt to an unsafe part of a building, while no survey had been carried out to check such safety issues.

Discussing the case, Keith Barrett, a public liability claims specialist at Irwin Mitchell’s London office, said: “Terrible incidents like this highlight just how important it is for companies working in public places to follow all of the necessary guidelines to guarantee the safety of those going about their day-to-day business.

“We repeatedly see the consequences of negligence where firms have failed to take regulations into action, which in turn have left people facing serious risks or suffering serious injuries.

“This incident is a prime example that companies should bear in mind when working in public places and lessons need to be learnt to ensure no one else faces the same problems in the future.”