Window fall death woman window had been ‘propped up’

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More news has emerged in the case of the woman killed in London last week by a falling window.  We previously commented on this story last week and it was immediately obvious at that time that this incident could have been avoided and was due to serious breaches in Health & Safety management of the site.

The news today that the half-tonne window frame which crushed the victim, a lawyer (Amanda Telfer, 44 – and not in her 20’s as originally stated) had simply been left propped up against a wall.  In a Coroners hearing, it was found that the victim died at the scene after the half-tonne wooden frame of a ground-floor window had fallen on her last Thursday.  The Coroner at Westminster Court heard that the 13ft (4m) by 13ft frame which struck her had been propped up against a wall.

The court also heard that witnesses helped to lift the frame off Ms Telfer, before the emergency services arrived at the scene.  Despite the best efforts of the members of the public and Paramedics in their attempts to resuscitate her, she was pronounced dead at the scene.

Coroner Dr Fiona Wilcox opened and adjourned the inquest as investigations by the Metropolitan Police and Health And Safety Executive continue.

This incident highlights the need for careful consideration of Health & Safety, especially in terms of construction sites.  Whilst those working on the site would never have imagined that simply ‘propping’ the frame against a wall could lead to such a tragic accident, the fact that the frame hadn’t been properly secured or the area around it cordoned off, indicates that the contractors in question failed in their duty of care to provide a safe and secure environment for those within the area of their work site.  Clearly, this could lead to them losing any claim that arises in this matter.

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