Two pensioners who were hit by part of a hoarding that blew loose in high winds have been awarded compensation.

The hoarding had been erected outside a restaurant in Leicester that was undergoing refurbishment by a Sheffield company, Gary Bluff Projects Ltd. The structure consisted of a metal fence to which plywood was attached.

The couple were walking past the premises when a strong gust of wind blew, tearing a section of the plywood away from its fastening and knocking them over. They both suffered from shock and the woman required treatment in hospital for her injuries.

It was clear that the construction of the hoarding was not robust enough to withstand such high winds. The company was prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) for failing to comply with the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007. The court in Leicester fined the company £6,000 for failing to make sure that the hoarding was properly designed and installed and ordered it to pay the couple £500 in compensation for their ordeal.

HSE inspector Mhairi Lockwood said, “The company had a duty to its workforce and members of the public to ensure the hoarding around the restaurant was safe. It failed to design the hoarding in such a way that it could withstand high winds. Once the plywood was attached to the metal fencing it effectively turned it into a sail.

This couple were lucky not to have been more seriously injured. As it was they suffered injuries and shock that could and should have been avoided.”

If you have been injured in a public place through no fault of your own, it may be possible to claim compensation. For individual claims advice, please contact our personal injury team.