Shopfitting Firm Fined For Hoarding Collapse On Oxford Street

Firm Fined After Four Injured In Hoarding Collapse

08.12.2014

A Wiltshire-based shopfitting company has been fined after almost a tonne of 3.6m-high hoarding collapsed at an Oxford Street store, trapping around 20 shoppers and injuring four.

After assistance from emergency crews and members of the public, most of the 20 people involved were freed unharmed. Injuries to the four people involved in the collapse - three of whom were seriously hurt - included broken bones in the back and crushed nerves in the arm. 

Following an investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), serious flaws were found in the construction of the hoarding, meaning it was not considered strong enough to handle knocks from passers-by or even strong winds.

As a result of the investigation the shopfitting company, Oracle Interiors Ltd, was found to have breached the Construction (Designs and Management) Regulations 2007, and was fined £10,000 as well as ordered to pay £13,069 in costs.

Wendy Garnett, HSE Inspector said: “The law clearly states that all temporary structures, including hoardings, should be properly designed, and so installed as to withstand any foreseeable loads imposed on them.

"Oracle Interiors Ltd could and should have done more to prevent the collapse."

Expert Opinion
Health and safety should always be a top priority for employers, which means ensuring workers and members of the public are safe from injury. In this case, which caused severe injuries to a number of people, not enough was done to ensure the installation was safe and secured.

“As a result, four people suffered injuries. It is crucial this prosecution acts as a wake-up call for companies to take their responsibilities for health and safety more seriously and to increase efforts to protect employees and members of the public from incidents such as this.”
Stephen Nye, Partner