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Building firm fined £4,000 after barrier fell on baby’s pram

A construction firm has been fined £4,000 for safety failings after a barrier was blown on top of a pram injuring an 18-week-old baby.

The baby boy was asleep in his pram while his mother used a cash machine outside a supermarket in Drip Road, Stirling, when the incident occurred on 24th October 2011.

Stirling Sheriff Court was told that Kier Construction Ltd was refurbishing the supermarket and had assembled barriers with branding on, saying the supermarket was still open for business.

As the baby’s mother parked the pram, her 13-year-old daughter screamed as the barrier with the banner attached to it fell on top of the pram hood and collapsed on the baby.

The baby was taken to hospital with bruising to his forehead. He was discharged that day and suffered no more effects from the incident.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that contrary to manufacturer’s instructions, the barriers had not been filled with water to ensure stability and the barriers next to the cash machines had not been locked together.

Inspectors also discovered that the previous month, high winds had caused the barriers to fall over and the site manager had ordered the removal of the banners.

Kier Construction Ltd, of, Tempsford Hall, Sandy, Bedfordshire, was fined £4,000 after admitting to breaching Section 3 of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974.

Following the case, HSE Principal Inspector Isabelle Martin, said: “This incident could easily have been prevented. If assembled correctly the barriers could withstand winds of up to 58mph. On the day of the incident windspeed was about 30mph and should not have been an issue.

“Instead, because Kier Construction Limited failed to properly construct the barriers, a young baby was hurt. Luckily, his injuries were minor but they could have been worse.

“This incident should serve as a reminder to construction companies about their duty to protect members of the public who may be affected by their work.”

If you have suffered a personal injury in the workplace, call PM Law solicitors in Sheffield on 0114 2965444.

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