Durkan Ltd Fined £5,000 Over Falling Advertising Hoarding

Call For Lessons To Be Learned From South London Incident


By Rob Dixon

Hertfordshire company Durkan Ltd has been fined £5,000 and ordered to pay costs over an incident in which a pensioner suffered a head injury when struck by a falling advertising hoarding in south east London.
The company pleaded guilty in relation to safety failings regarding the incident in July 2010, when the unnamed 85-year-old woman was struck by the hoarding which stood alongside a pavement next to a construction site.
She was in hospital for eight days following the incident and needed 13 stitches on a deep cut.
The Health and Safety Executive’s investigation into the incident revealed that the hoarding, which was the responsibility of Durkan Ltd, was poorly maintained, badly designed and constructed, as well as overloaded with advertising material.
Irwin Mitchell’s public liability lawyers have said it is vital that lessons can be learned from the incident to ensure that such an accident in a public place is not repeated in the future.
Alicia Townsend, a legal expert at the national law firm’s Sheffield office, said: “Companies involved in the maintenance and use of advertising hoardings have a duty to ensure they take steps to ensure their workers and the general public are safe from any potential harm.
“This terrible incident highlights the problems which can arise if a party does not meet their responsibilities in terms of health and safety. One of the few crumbs of comfort in relation to this hoarding collapse is simply that the injuries sustained were not much worse.
“We would urge Durkan Ltd and similar companies to ensure the issues seen in this case are simply not repeated in the future.”

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