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Personal injury expert highlights employers’ responsibility to protect health and safety of employees after woman is crushed at London construction site

Posted: 29/03/2018


A woman is fighting for her life in hospital this week after she was struck by bricks and debris which fell from a building site crane onto a street in London. The 28 year old reportedly suffered severe injuries after she was crushed by a pallet of falling bricks on Tuesday morning.

Sadly this is not the first major incident at a construction site in recent news, and follows reports from February 2017 when a young worker died after an accident involving a faulty concrete mixer at a building site in Wimbledon. In July 2017, reports surfaced of a worker killed at a Kensington construction site after falling from scaffolding. While there is no suggestion that the woman injured this week was working on the site, this most recent incident places the spotlight on construction site accidents and coincides with the release of the Health & Safety Executives 2016/2017 report which addresses fatal injuries arising from accidents at work. The figures are currently provisional, and will be finalised in July 2018. Despite long term reductions in the number of workers killed by work activities, each year such cases continue, with 137 deaths recorded in 2016/17. Although this represents a reduction of 10 fatalities from 2015/16, and is the second lowest year on record after 2013/14, in statistical terms the number of fatalities has remained broadly level in recent years.

Charlene King, an associate in the personal injury team at Penningtons Manches, comments: "Fatal injuries in the construction industry are thankfully rare events and health and safety in this area has improved considerably over the years. However, because of the hazardous nature of the work, there are still a significant number of accidents taking place on and around these locations. Risk factors are high at most sites and, sadly, this means that when accidents do occur, they are very rarely minor.  

“As we have seen in the news reports highlighted above, falling from a height, being hit by debris, dangerous machinery or faulty scaffolding, can all result in injuries that could be life-altering. Site managers and their employers have a responsibility to protect their employees, contractors and visitors from injury and harm on a building or construction site. There are strict rules and regulations covering the industry with safety standards that must be obeyed if such tragic incidents are to be further prevented.”


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