Investigations Begin Following Camden Falling Sign Death

Expert Raises Inspection Concerns Following Incident

29.01.2013

An investigation has been launched after a man was killed when a 30ft shop sign fell on him in Camden yesterday evening (January 28th).

Police have revealed that the man had a cardiac arrest at the scene and died in hospital after being struck by the metal sign from a betting shop on Camden Road.

A forensic tent has been erected on the site as investigations continue, while health and safety investigators have reportedly been on the scene.

David Urpeth, a Partner at Irwin Mitchell who represents people who have been seriously injured in incidents in public places, said many questions have been raised by the tragedy

He explained: “It is now vital that investigators work to determine all of the circumstances surrounding the incident to ultimately provide comprehensive answers over how this happened.

“Any information will also go a long way towards identifying any lessons that can be learned from this death which will mean other fatalities or serious injuries can be avoided in the future.”

David added it was worrying to see the tragedy occur following recent research regarding health and safety by Stirling University, which found that 53 per cent of workplace fatalities between April 2011 and October 2012 occurred in sectors excluded from unannounced inspections by the Health and Safety Executive.

He added: “While very little is so far known about what happened in this case, it is a concern to see such an incident emerge when a recent study by revealed the extent of the reduction seen in unannounced inspections in areas deemed to be ‘low risk’, which include shops.

“There is a strong argument that the threat of such inspections may mean businesses would be further encouraged to step up their own regular checks, meaning risks to their own staff and the general public in and around workplaces could be identified.

“We have seen too many instances when workers and the public suffer injuries in incidents which could and should have been avoided, so we would urge the Government and the HSE to ensure the approach to inspections is not putting lives at risk.”